Shekila Melchior, a doctoral candidate in counselor education, received the 2017 Outstanding Graduate Student Award for the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Melchior was nominated for the award based on her accomplishments in research, outreach, and teaching.

It was while she was a high school counselor in Bassett, Virginia, that Melchior became an advocate for undocumented students. Her commitment and passion were reflected in the topic of her dissertation, “Social Justice Identity Development of School Counselors Who Advocate for Undocumented Students.” She has made five professional presentations on the topic of supporting undocumented students.

Melchior is engaged with the Virginia Tech undergraduate community as a residential fellow in West Ambler Johnston, and with the broader Virginia Tech graduate community as a graduate assistant in the Graduate School Office of Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives. She has co-taught five courses in the master’s Counselor Education program, has been the instructor of record for one, and is now teaching as an adjunct at Radford University.