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Master of Arts, Educational Studies, School of Education, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, History, and American Culture, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.

Melissa McCurry

Learning Experience Designer

Why I Choose to Work at Academic Innovation

The Center for Academic Innovation (CAI) is an organization that is committed to creating accessible and engaging experiences for learners throughout the world. This commitment aligns strongly with my personal and professional goals.

Currnet Roles

Melissa McCurry is a Learning Experience Designer (LXD) at the Center for Academic Innovation (CAI) and a proud University of Michigan alum. She obtained both her Master of Arts (Educational Studies) and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology, History, and American Culture) at U of M – Ann Arbor. While getting her Master of Arts, she also worked as a Design Management Fellow for Teach-Outs and LXD Resident at CAI. Of the projects she has worked on so far, her favorite has been the CRISPR: Gene Editing Teach-Out — where experts discussed gene editing with a particular emphasis on societal and ethical implications. She encourages you to check it out on the Michigan Online Archives, if you are interested!

Prior to working at CAI, Melissa worked in K-12 special education with students who had a wide variety of backgrounds and abilities. Melissa specialized in working with children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Her experiences working with neurodivergent students heavily influences her approach to design work. She has a strong interest in making experiences that are compatible with different learning styles and investigating new educational technologies (e.g., extended reality [XR]) that have the potential to enhance learning experiences for neurodivergent learners. In addition to thinking about ability, Melissa strives to think about culture and other aspects of identity in her design work. She is very interested in learning more about how to make educational content that aligns with diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) principles in impactful, non-performative ways. She is excited to expand her knowledge in this area and watch as CAI continuously develops new strategies to make meaningful connections with learners.

Ask Me to Learn About

  • Using extended reality (XR) applications for social skills development in learners with autism spectrum disorder (ASD
  • Creating educational resources and spaces for neurodivergent learners
  • Accessibility and user experience (UX) in virtual reality
  • How to analyze history and synthesize multiple perspectives
  • The history and contents of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) — including its strengths and weaknesses over time
  • Volunteer opportunities in the Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Detroit areas
  • Board game and pinball machine recommendations