Video by Jesse White & Michael Pearce
Story by Jacquazha Nettles
Charmaine McKissick-Melton will be retiring from N.C. Central University after the 2022 semester.
Known popularly as Dr. Mac, McKissick-Melton helped make the NCCU Mass Communication department what it is today.
She played a key role in the department’s transition out of the English department and into a free-standing department.
As chair of the Mass Communication Department from 2012 to 2014, McKissick-Melton also spearheaded the process of creating a public relations concentration.
One highly recognized achievement was her creation of the internship boot camp and the internship program she established with Duke University for the department’s best-performing students. Initially, the program had seven slots paying $10 per hour — Now 20 slots are paying $15 per hour.
Another addition she brought to the department was the 3rd floor Mac Lab. In less than 24 hours herself, Brett Chambers and Williams Russell Robinson came up with the proposal.
McKissick-Melton also has deep roots in the Durham community. She was among the first to integrate Durham schools during her 3rd – 5th-grade years.
Currently, she is on the Pauli Murray Board after having served as Vice-Chair for several years. In that position, she played a key role in getting national landmark status for the Pauli Murray home, which will be called the Pauli Center for History and Social Justice.
A current project close to her heart is the McKissick Soul City Civil Rights Center located in Warren County, which her father, Floyd McKissick, was a founding member.
The center will be located in a 6,000 square feet 1790 plantation house. She aims for the location to earn status as a national landmark.
Leaving a legacy of genuine care and dedication when it comes to helping and supporting students, McKissick-Melton has been an advocate for students, allowing them to go to her for anything.
“I just want to thank her for her dedication and determination for her students because that’s truly what a teacher is,” senior Kayla Jordan said.
“Teachers are here to lead the next generation. I think she truly did that. So I just want to thank her for her service to NCCU.”
This story also appears in the NOMMO spring 2022 newsletter published by the Mass Communication department. Go here to view the full newsletter: NOMMO Spring 2022