Dr. Melanie M. Wilcox is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences and Institute of Public and Preventive Health at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia. She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany (State University of New York) and completed her predoctoral internship at the University of Florida’s Counseling and Wellness Center. Prior to joining Augusta University, she was an Assistant Professor and Director of Doctoral Training in the APA-Accredited Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at Oklahoma State, and an Assistant Professor and Director of the Psychological Services Clinic at the APA-Accredited Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at Louisiana Tech University. Her research focuses generally on racial and economic justice, represented by three pillars: (1) Culturally responsive psychotherapy and psychotherapy training, (2) Racial and economic inequity in higher education, and (3) Whiteness and antiracism. She is also currently a member of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Board of Education Affairs, of which she served as Chair in 2020, and has served in several leadership positions within APA and its Divisions.
Prior to beginning her educational journey at Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, Dr. Wilcox had come to feel as though her dream of becoming a psychologist and a professor were far-fetched. Coming from a lower socioeconomic status background, she describes her financial and familial obligations—which led her to leave high school, earning a G.E.D. rather than a high school diploma—as having a significant negative impact on her academic and career self-efficacy. She began taking classes at LCCC while working full-time, missing school, and seeing her restaurant management work as an excuse to earn an Associate Degree. The support and high-quality academic environment that she found at LCCC, along with tangible support in finding on- and off-campus employment opportunities, allowed her to imagine a different future for herself. She changed majors from Hotel- Restaurant Management to Psychology and, with the support of her advisor, Dr. Robin Musselman (former Psi Beta President), earned her A.S. in Psychology and transferred to a great local four-year college. Thanks to the support and encouragement that she received as well as the academic preparation LCCC provided, Dr. Wilcox found herself more than adequately prepared for her four-year and doctoral degree programs.
Given her own trajectory and experience, Dr. Wilcox is passionate about supporting students from minoritized backgrounds as well as empirically demonstrating the barriers to higher education attainment for students from minoritized backgrounds. She is often asked to write and present on the student loan debt crisis and its economic determinants and meets with lawmakers to advocate for policies that would reduce the student loan debt burden and increase educational opportunities for lower socioeconomic status students and students of color.

Psi Beta
Certified member of the National Association of College Honor Societies, Affiliate of the American Psychological Association, and Affiliate of the American Psychological Society