Melissa Jurist

Student Services Coordinator / GEO Advisor


Melissa received a bachelor's degree in psychology from New York University and a master's degree in disaster science (studying equity for those living with a disability in disasters). She comes to Duke after working to increase diversity in higher education (at the University of Delaware), researching Special Education (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), and creating educational and accessible children’s programming for Sesame Workshop (producers of “Sesame Street”).

She has traveled to all seven continents and over thirty countries-getting lost in most of them. The kindnesses found in other cultures during unexpected moments, she believes, enriches one’s worldview and deepens mutual understanding. Being able to help students at Duke to find their unexpected educational moments in Global Education is both a privilege and a joy.

Working as a disability advocate and champion for equity has been her life’s mission. Melissa is excited to bring her experience and dedication to Global Education to ensure that all students have the opportunity and access to study in new and exciting places.

As a strong believer in cognitive complexity, she is an enthusiastic-but-just-ok tap dancer, one-the-spot Haiku-er, non-traditional crafter, and for-life dog lover.

Professional Interests: Disability advocacy, inclusive student advisement, educational program design for all learners, education evaluation, classical literature, Japanese art.