Professor Dallas was appointed as Department Head in 2008. Prior to this, she was the founding Director of the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) from 2004 - 2008. She served as Senior Assistant Dean for External Relations and a business law faculty member in the College of Business at FAU from 2000-2004. Dallas has received numerous awards throughout her career. Most recently, she was selected as the 2008 Distinguished Teacher of the Year for the College of Business at FAU. In addition to her duties as Department Head, Dallas also teaches the introductory course in hospitality management as well as the hospitality law course. Melissa has held a variety of academic posts over the course of her career including positions as the program director for the Hospitality Management Program at Bowling Green State University and as a divisional dean at Seattle Central Community College. Her industry experience includes positions in institutional foodservice, casual dining, hotels, and senior living facilities.
Professor Dallas has significant and successful public and media relations experience and is an authority on curriculum development. She has developed undergraduate and graduate curricula in both hospitality and tourism management as well as in the area of legal compliance. Most recently, she led departmental efforts that resulted in an extensive revision of the hospitality curriculum at MSU. Dallas has an extensive publication record that includes refereed papers, chapters in books, and two textbooks. Her current scholarship efforts center on corporate governance in the hospitality industry and the development and application of successful public and media relations strategies in higher education.
Melissa has an active and wide-ranging history of involvement in both community and professional service. 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, the major professional organization for hospitality and tourism educators, and currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Governors for Eta Sigma Delta, the international hospitality honorary.