by Jennifer Saunders
Tricia Melillo ’17 loves history. She is fascinated with the U.S. Constitution, and she even has a favorite among the nation’s founders.
All these passions have likely helped pave the way for her future, as Melillo is now a legislative assistant for the New Hampshire Senate.
“I have been assigned two senators I will be assisting with anything they need to get the job of serving the people done,” Melillo explains. “This will include arranging meetings with department heads, other legislators, constituents and others, tracking certain legislation as it moves through the process, taking care of getting amendments drafted when needed, helping with constituent issues and generally making sure the senators have everything they need for committees and sessions.”
The UNH Manchester graduate, who moved to Mason, New Hampshire, 14 years ago after being raised in Pepperell, Massachusetts, is also a proud mom.
“My greatest accomplishment will always be raising my two sons, who both served honorably in the military and are my inspiration,” she says.
When she decided to pursue her dream of attaining her college degree, she was immediately drawn to UNH Manchester’s urban campus.
“It was convenient and easy to get around for class because it is in one huge building,” she explains. “Due to its smaller size, there is a comfortable atmosphere where everyone recognizes everyone else. Once you pass through the doors, it’s almost like a small town. I enjoyed the respect students and professors had for each other."
“My passion has always been American history and our Constitution. James Madison was a genius,” she says with a smile. “In my time at UNH, I took part in the Harvard University National Model UN Conference in Boston. It was an incredible learning experience to be a part of something with delegates from so many countries.”
At UNH Manchester, she says, the most rewarding part of her experience has been becoming part of a community.
“When I started, I was nervous that I would not fit in, being an older student. I was so wrong,” she says. “Each semester I completed, it was with the encouragement of my classmates and professors. I graduated as part of a community that worked together and helped each other to achieve personal goals.”
Her recommendation for future UNH Manchester students is to get involved: “Take every opportunity to learn something new,” she says, adding, “The professors are very approachable; take advantage of their advice.”
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