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Melissa Villodas

Ph.D. Candidate
Research Assistant

Melissa Villodas


Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building


325 Pittsboro Street

Chapel Hill, NC 27599

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Melissa Villodas, MSW, is a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work. Her research interests revolve around how where people live impacts their health and well-being, with a focus on neighborhood effects on Black youth mental health. Melissa’s work also spans across transition-aged foster care youth mental health as well as youth and young adult community engagement.

Melissa received her MSW from New York University’s Silver School of Social Work. Between her master’s and doctoral studies, she worked as a clinical therapist for a treatment family foster care program and for an integrative health care organization in New York City. Melissa has also worked as a project manager for several NIMH-funded projects focused on mental health service utilization and interventions for individuals living with severe mental illness.

Melissa currently works as a research assistant on projects with Dr. Amy Blank Wilson and Dr. Trenette Clark Goings.

Degrees and Licenses

MSW, New York University
BA, Nyack College



Research and Professional Interests

Mental Health
Youth and Young Adults
Neighborhood Effects
Social Connection

Recent Publications

Villodas, M.L., Nebbit, V., Yu, M., Lombe, M., Foell, A., McCoy, H., & Enelamah, N.V. (Accepted for Publication). Assessing the modified neighborhood cohesion index among African American adolescents living in public housing: An exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Journal Society for Social Work Research.