Melissa Callahan has been named the new director of communications for the Tickle College of Engineering, effective September 22. She had served as interim director since July, in addition to a previous four-month stint as interim director in 2019.
“Melissa has a great understanding of where we are as a college, the positive trajectory we are on, and her leadership will be a critical factor in helping us achieve our goals,” said Dean Matthew Mench, the Wayne T. Davis Dean’s Chair of the college. “We’re excited to see what the future holds.”
A native of Ballwin, Missouri, Callahan first came to the University of Tennessee as a first-year student in the fall of 2004. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sports management in 2007, followed by a master’s in communication and information in 2009.
She began her career working with various teams in the UT athletic department while in school before working in media relations with the athletic departments at the University of Arkansas and later at Western Kentucky University.
Callahan returned to Knoxville in 2012 as the communications director for the Episcopal School of Knoxville before joining the Tickle College of Engineering communications team as a project manager in 2018, adding the title of assistant director in February of 2021.
In her new role as director, she will oversee the college’s communications and marketing efforts that play a key role in connecting with alumni, future students, peer institutions, government agencies, and potential partners.
She and her husband, Ryan, have three children: a son, Riley (4), and twins Ellie and Sawyer (20 months).