Progress at the Midpoint.jpg

Freelance (2016 - Present)
Digital Producer

  • Headed team of designers to create over 25 graphics and 40 pages of data tables for the UN Foundation-hosted FP2020's annual family planning report for 2016. Worked with communications and research staff to ensure data accuracy and effective visual design. 
  • Directed the production of USAID funded video for international youth advocates educating policymakers about the economic benefits of a demographic dividend. 
  • Directed the production of Gates funded video on improving access to family planning for young people in Tanzania.   

Population Reference Bureau (2014 - 2016)
Digital Producer

  • Managed the creation of digital content for research and global development non-profit.
  • Contributed to all stages of production, including idea conception, story development, creative direction, editing, and publishing online.
  • Supervised PRB’s digital designer and freelancers while monitoring budgets and timelines.  
  • Worked with policy analysts and researchers to incorporate data accurately and effectively for clients and audiences, including USAID, NGOs, and policymakers across the world.

The Marketing Store (2013 - 2014)
Programming and Production Manager/Digital Producer

  • Led programming for the McDonald's Channel, a custom broadcast that reached 14 million viewers a month, by selecting and securing content, creating schedules, and running daily operations. 
  • Directed production of the McD App and McDonald's Surprise Alarm App promotional videos. Successfully led a team that included an animator, editor, actors, voiceover talent, and digital producers.
  • Served as Digital Producer for the McDonald's World Cup U.S. sweepstakes website and other client projects. Was responsible for editing copy decks, testing functionality, developing UX wireframes, and reviewing creative materials.

Tellit Multimedia LLC (2004 - 2013)
Founder, Video Producer and Photographer

  • Ran my own multimedia production company with a focus on creating content for non-profits.
  • Collaborated with communications/PR departments to identify marketing messages and produce compelling storylines and effective messaging strategies using video, audio, and photography.
  • Led all aspects of media creation, including conceptualizing ideas, planning shoots, conducting interviews, editing footage, and preparing assets for distribution online.
  • Directed documentary Remember Me Sue, which aired during primetime on PBS Chicago.



NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications

M.S. Journalism, with concentration in Interactive Storytelling

  • Studied writing, editing, web design, data journalism, social media best practices, and online publishing.
  • Trained one-on-one with former Time Magazine photographer, Steve Liss.
  • Took coursework in Web Production, Advanced Video Storytelling, and Business and Economics Reporting.
  • Reported in the Medill newsroom covering the banking beat.


B.A. Anthropology

  • Took coursework in documentary filmmaking; student film won 2006 IFP Market/Current TV national contest, screened at IFP Market film festival in New York and on Current TV's national cable channel.
The video had a big splash among some high officials in Egypt. [Our contact] sent it to different ministers, including minister of planning. She told me that they all liked it. I think we have had so far the best possible impact that we could have imagined this video to have, being circulated among high officials and making them to talk about the issue with each other.
— Farzaneh Roudi, Former Program Director for the Middle East and North Africa Region, Population Reference Bureau
Melina is such a wonderful asset to have within an organization. She is smart and gets up to speed quickly on new programs and tasks. Her attention to detail is one of multiple core skill sets that sets her apart from the rest. Additionally she is not afraid to jump into looking for new processes all team members can utilize to increase work efficiencies.
— Rina Kennedy, Director of Digital Production, The Marketing Store
India Rising is probably the best produced Story Map I’ve seen from our user community. I am socializing it inside Esri to inspire Esri folks to show it to their customers and contacts.
— Rupert Essinger, ESRI Story Maps team member
I’m a writer, but words don’t tell the whole story. When I need photo, video and audio work, Melina is my go-to person. She has a deep, instinctive knowledge of what’s compelling and she needs very little direction. She always delivers (on time and on budget).
— Melissa Spear, Content Manager, Heartland Alliance