Laurie Melnik is the Executive Director for the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts (SCEA) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she also oversees theatre education programming for the center. At SCEA, Laurie cultivates multi-organizational collaborations around strengthening arts teaching and learning across diverse populations and interdisciplinary contexts. Culturally responsive pedagogy and asset-based community development maintain a strong presence in Laurie’s work as she works across sectors to help communities realize and maximize their creative potential when solving critical problems. She is a member of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education where she served as a Professional Development Co-Chair and was recently elected to their Board of Directors. She has an M.F.A in Theatre with a concentration in Theatre for Young Audiences from the University of Central Florida, an M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and is a 2013 Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute alum.