Melissa is a native of Finger Lakes Region of New York State. Starting in 1996 with an interest in clothing and fashions of the period, Melissa’s first affiliation was with the 1st New York Light Artillery from Rochester. After serving two years with the 1st NYLA, Melissa became a member of the 5th Virginia Infantry, where she supported civilian impressions and culinary activities for the unit. In 1999, she helped to form the 43rd Virginia Calvary, Company A unit based out of West(ern) Virginia. Here Melissa was a governing member of the group for two years overseeing civilian impressions for the unit. In 2001, Melissa became an independent civilian and began her journey in the progressive impressionism of Civil War Reenacting.
In 2005, Melissa obtained her Master Gardener Certification specializing in heirloom gardening and medicinal plants. She also became a member of the American Living History Education Society (ALHES) in 2011. She would obtain her Emergency Medical Technician for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the spring of 2013, as well as become a member of the Provisional Hospital of Virginia in the summer of 2013, where she served as a senior civilian historian and nursing impression. Melissa began sewing and delving into research of seamstress techniques and fashion frivolities since 1996.
In the summer of 2016, Melissa and Kent Schod would restructure the Provisional Hospital of Virginia from a working provisional/way hospital to a working apothecary and medical purveyor’s impression. Melissa also assisted in the construction and preparation of the medical museum in Gettysburg, Pa. In September of 2016, Melissa and Kent formally joined all of their impressions when they married in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They are expecting their first child, Grace Elisabeth, in 2017.