Melisa Bates is a native of the state of South Carolina. She attended Columbia College where she received her bachelors degree in art education. After teaching art in the public school system, she went on to receive her master’s degree at the University Of South Carolina. Melisa comes from a large southern family. She grew up on Hilton Head Island with her two brothers and five sisters. Melisa has been a part of the JWU family for over twenty years.