Profile photo of Laurie Melnik Allen
Laurie Melnik Allen
Executive Director
Southeast Center for Education in the Arts
M.F.A., The University of Central Florida; M.P.A., The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  208 Patten House

Laurie Melnik Allen is the Executive Director of the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts (SCEA) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). At SCEA, Laurie facilitates capacity building in arts education for a variety of schools and communities through mapping assets, clarifying outcomes, aligning initiatives, cultivating impactful narratives, and grant writing. Her work in program development and evaluation activates design thinking principles and embraces a "backwards planning" approach. She regularly facilitates trainings on brainstorming, thinking on your feet, human-centered practice, and outcomes-based program development in the arts. Laurie has an extensive background in Applied Drama with over a decade of experience integrating drama-based praxis in PreK-12 education and physician training. She is a member of Americans for the Arts, participates on the Collegiate Advisory Council for the Educational Theatre Association, and chairs the Community Advisory Board for WTCI. She was awarded the 2017 Grantsperson of the Year for the College of Arts & Sciences at UTC and has been nominated multiple times (2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019) for the UT President Award, the University of Tennessee system’s highest employee honor. She has an M.F.A in Theatre with a concentration in Theatre for Young Audiences from the University of Central Florida and an M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga