Melanie grew up primarily in the Los Lunas/Belen area but has had the opportunity to live in many different places throughout the USA and Mexico including Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Charleston, Guadalajara, Merida, and Mexico City. She holds two associate degrees with Honors in general and paralegal studies from Clovis Community College, and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in psychology and minors in communications and social work from Eastern New Mexico University. She has also earned numerous certificates including holistic health coaching (IIN), managed care insurance administration (AHIP, Professional Designation), and project management (Central New Mexico Community College, Highest Honors). Melanie is a loving and dedicated mother to five daughters, and her policy interests are focused on the issues involved in “high conflict” family court cases. Through the University of New Mexico’s Master of Public Policy program, Melanie hopes to change how the legal, healthcare, law enforcement, child protection, and education systems conceptualize these cases, and improve how such institutions respond to and handle this form of post-separation domestic abuse.