Professor Dallas served as Department Head from July 2008 through June 2013. After stepping down for family reasons, she returned to full-time faculty. Prior to joining Missouri State, she was the founding Director of the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) from 2004 – 2008 where she served as Senior Assistant Dean for External Relations and a business law faculty member in the College of Business from 2000 - 2004. Melissa has held other academic leadership positions over the course of her career including the director for the Hospitality Management Program at Bowling Green State University and a divisional dean at Seattle Central Community College. She has industry experience in institutional foodservice, casual dining, hotels, and senior living management.
At Missouri State, she was recognized as the “most inspirational” faculty mentor for a student athlete, was nominated for the Curtis P. Lawrence Award for Excellence in Advising, was named an Outstanding Scientific Paper Reviewer by I-CHRIE, and was recognized for overall faculty excellence by MSU’s Greek community. While at FAU, she was selected as the 2008 Distinguished Teacher of the Year for the College of Business.
Professor Dallas has developed undergraduate and graduate curricula in both hospitality and tourism management and risk management/legal compliance. She serves on the Curricular Development Team at Missouri State University whose efforts resulted in an extensive revision of the hospitality curriculum and an exit examination for assessment purposes. Dallas has an extensive publication record that includes refereed papers, chapters in books, and two textbooks. Her current scholarship efforts center on corporate social responsibility in the hospitality industry. Dallas currently teaches the introductory course in hospitality leadership, hospitality law, global hospitality strategy, destination development, and a master’s course in legal compliance and risk management in the hospitality industry.
Melissa is an active member of Springfield Metro Rotary where she heads up the Don’t Meth with Us program for area 5th and 7th graders and is a Lunch Buddy at a local elementary school. She has been involved in numerous community service efforts ranging from being a Girl Scout troop leader to organizing a walkathon for the American Heart Association. Dallas is also a Past President of the International Council on Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Education and currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Governors for Eta Sigma Delta, the international hospitality honorary.