Melissa M. Yovich-Whattam
Director of Enrollment Communication
Master of Arts – Communication, Purdue University
Bachelor of Arts – Political Science, minor in Sociology, Purdue University
Since building a house in 2004 and relocating to the Western Illinois suburbs with her husband James (PU, BS ’04), Melissa took a position with Aurora University. Having attended and worked at PUC and ‘bleeding’ black and gold, it was a change of life, culture and career.
Having utilized her education in Political Science, Sociology and her Master’s in Communication from Purdue University Calumet, Melissa has been able to design and implement a solid career based on strengths and skills learned and earned at PUC.
Her diverse background as a graduate assistant in financial aid, advancement and active member in the Department of Political Science and History with Pi Sigma Alpha at PUC, she gained numerous experiences that increased skills necessary for a career, but also critical thinking skills that she utilizes each and every day. Her position in the former University Division as an academic counselor/instructor and director gave her an additional advantage of the many systems involved in higher education.
Melissa currently is Director of Enrollment Communications at Aurora University. AU is a small, private university with three locations – Aurora, Illinois, Williams Bay, Wisconsin (on the shores of Geneva Lake) and Woodstock, Illinois. Melissa is responsible for the academic and enrollment information for the three AU locations which include undergraduate, transfer, adult degree completion, master and doctoral programs. She has recently been instrumental in designing and implementing the communication materials, channels, web and other mediums for the establishment of the Woodstock Center.
She is also active in the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, Plainfield Chamber of Commerce, AU web team, Enrollment Director’s Group, Social Media Task Force, and presents informational speeches on Multiple Sclerosis having been diagnosed in 2006. She is also a mentor for an MS group.
Melissa has also been active in the Graduate Affairs Committee, Graduate Enrollment Planning, Pi Sigma Alpha honor society induction at Aurora University. She is also active in Multiple Sclerosis fundraising and activities as well as functions for Primary Pulmonary Hypertension and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – organizations that have impacted her family; mother and father. She also supported the Illinois Lottery Scratch Off tickets to benefit Multiple Sclerosis research for Illinois. As a side note, her involvement with MS led her to establish a relationship with State Senator, Linda Holmes and was even in the senator’s campaign materials and commercial!
One can define leadership as qualities in individuals who can take charge and instill motivation, cohesion, experience and inspiration. Leadership is not inherited, but instilled through comprehensive thoughts, ideas, and actions. These qualities are not confined to career, personal or a classroom environment, but systematically and holistically in every facet of life. Mutual respect, trust, positive impression, active listening, strategic planning and implementation are all traits of leaders. Not one key element is required, but an entire system of knowledge and skills combined create a leader. Melissa strives to utilize all components of leadership in her life, from the mundane, to the critical. Leadership is a trait that can never be taken away.