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Melissa T. YangAssistant Teaching Professor, Director of the Writing Center


Melissa T. Yang is a multidisciplinary scholar and writer who teaches composition courses grounded in the environmental humanities. Her ​research explores how birds are embedded in everyday figurative language in ways materially tied to histories of human communication​. She is currently working on her first book.

Recent publications include musings on the etymology of “jizz” (as a birding term) in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (2019) and explorations of Charles Dickens’ pet raven’s taxidermic hold on Edgar Allan Poe in FRAME: Journal of Literary Studies (2018).

Melissa holds a decade of experience in writing center work and has been employed as a writer, editor, administrator, and educator in diverse professional contexts, from preschool to art school. Melissa is passionate about collaboration and makes connections in her work across a wide range of interests. She can be found leading eclectic collaborative workshops and panels on topics from poultry to poetry to partner acrobatics at conferences around the world.


  • BA, Mount Holyoke College
  • MA, University of Pittsburgh
  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh