Melissa Ralston-Jones is an adjunct professor of Gallery Studies at Western Connecticut State University and has served as the part-time gallery curator since 2013. She received a Bachelor degree in American History with a minor in museum studies from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego. After securing a paid internship in preservation with the Historic Hudson Valley, Melissa realized the enjoyment she received from learning about history of objects and artifacts and the stories they tell. After many years working in education at the primary and secondary levels Melissa opened a fiscally sponsored non-profit art gallery, Gallery 46, in the Rockville section of Vernon Connecticut, a community in need of an art presence. Here she curated 14 exhibitions establishing a cultural resource for the surrounding community and a creative outlet for emerging artists. Through Gallery 46’s increased visibility, she was recruited to serve as a board member for the newly formed arts organization, Vernon Community Arts Center (now renamed to Arts Center East). Here, she fulfilled the roles of assistant director and interim acting director and was integral in the opening and development of exhibition and educational programming. She received her Master’s degree in museum studies from Johns Hopkins University.