Distinguished Scientist Melissa Tibbits, Ph.D.

January 16, 2017

Image with caption: Melissa Tibbits, Ph.D.

Melissa Tibbits, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2016 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

The Distinguished Scientist Award

The Distinguished Scientist Award -- which is sponsored by the chancellor -- recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists at UNMC during the past five years.

  • Name: Melissa Tibbits, Ph.D.
  • Title: Associate professor, UNMC Department of Health Promotion, Social & Behavioral Health, College of Public Health
  • Joined UNMC: 2009
  • Hometown: Tulsa, Okla.

Research focus:
Child and adolescent health

The goal of my research is to contribute to the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions that promote healthy child and adolescent development and prevent outcomes such as sexually transmitted infections, teen pregnancy and violence.

My research will make a difference because:
My research is designed from a public health practice lens, which aims to produce research findings that can be utilized by community partners to improve the health of children and adolescents.

The best advice I've ever been given is:
Years ago my mom gave me a figurine inscribed with this quote by Judy Garland: "Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That philosophy guides my personal and professional life.

Three things you may not know about me

  • I love exercise, so I run and/or strength train several times a week.
  • I planned to be a psychologist until I discovered interdisciplinary research in my last year of college.
  • I enjoy going to musicals and the ballet.


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Sonja Russell
January 17, 2017 at 1:57 PM

So proud to call you my dear colleague and mentor, Melissa! Keep up the great work!

LaShaune Johnson
January 16, 2017 at 1:25 PM

Congrats, Melissa!

Lea Pounds
January 16, 2017 at 10:32 AM

Congratulations to a great colleague! Well deserved recognition for your work.

Jo Giles
January 16, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Congrats!!! You are a fantastic public health leader and community partner.

Carol Russell
January 16, 2017 at 8:25 AM

Congratulations!! Carol Russell

Rebecca Rae Anderson
January 16, 2017 at 7:57 AM

Congratulations to a superb investigator, a dynamic teacher, and a great all-around person.