skip to navigation skip to content
For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop


Melissa Mendez

Teaching Specialist/IV-E Field Coordinator
M.S.W., Child Welfare Concentration, Washington University in St. Louis
B.A., Family Studies, St. Olaf College
L.I.C.S.W., Minnesota Board of Social Work

School of Social Work
Rm 219 PetersH
1404 Gortner Ave

Tel: 612-624-3159

Areas of Interest

Child welfare; mindfulness practice; ritual and ceremony

Research Interests

I joined the University of Minnesota Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare in February 2013 as the Title IV-E Field Coordinator.  In this role, I have the opportunity to work directly with the IV-E MSW scholars who are focusing their studies in child welfare practice, and with public and private agencies that provide child welfare services.

Before coming to the School of Social Work, I worked at Children's Home Society & Family Services from 2001-2013 as an adoption social worker, mostly in post-adoption and training.  Previous to this, I worked in Chicago for two years as a birth family social worker, working with families involved in the child welfare system and families at all stages of permanency planning.  During and shortly after obtaining my MSW degree, I worked as an adoption social worker at Lutheran Family and Children's Services in St. Louis, Missouri.  Over the years,  I have worked alongside and supervised many social work students and developed my strong interest in field education.  In addition to my passion for and work in the field of child welfare, I have a strong interest in mindfulness practices and in ritual and ceremony and how these practices can be used with individuals, families and communities to facilitate healing, collaboration, renewal and inspiration.