Melissa Gjellstad - M.A., 2000, Ph.D., 2004

Submitted by Gregory R Pflaumer on

Melissa is currently an Associate Professor of Norwegian at the University of North Dakota. During her time in the Scandinavian Studies Department at UW, Melissa recalls making lifelong friends, and the deep sense of community, both intellectual and social, created in the department. Her time in the department showed Melissa the breadth of what was possible with a graduate degree in the humanities, and provided her with an exceptional pedagogical foundation in her career as a professor, illustrated when she was chosen for the Individual Excellence in Teaching Award at UND, 2011. The department also provided opportunities to create close relationships with faculty, who acted in the meaningful role as mentors. Melissa calls her time in the Scandinavian Studies Department “transformative,” a word she does not use lightly. Melissa has taught all levels of Norwegian language instruction as well as courses on gender studies, Vikings and sagas, immigration, and Norwegian literature, including young adult fiction. Melissa also helped establish the Go Global Academy at UND, and embarked on a faculty-led study abroad tour of Nordic capitals in Spring 2019. Both endeavors focus on global citizenship; the study abroad course delved into issues of indigenous rights, equal pay, livable cities, and crime fiction. Melissa’s research focuses on representations of mothers and fathers in fiction, and her current project investigates issues of infertility. In addition to her job at UND, Melissa has taught at the International Summer School at the University of Oslo every summer since 2013.

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