Melissa Werner, CSEP – Arizona State University
Melissa Werner, CSEP is Director of University Ceremonies, Protocol Officer at Arizona State University and co-founder of the North American Association of Commencement Officers (NAACO).
A native of Tempe, AZ and a long-time employee of ASU, Melissa has been the Director of Ceremonies at ASU for the past 14 years.
In May 2009 ASU hosted the largest graduation ceremony in the United States. More than 68,000 people attended ASU’s Spring Commencement at which President Barack Obama gave the first graduation address of his presidency.
In 1999 Melissa and Carol Switzer, co-founded NAACO, a professional association for commencement and graduation professionals from the United States and Canada. Since the inaugural conference in 2001 NAACO has grown to include more than 350 US and Canadian institutions. Melissa served as the NAACO Charter President; she was the lead coordinator of the inaugural conference in 2000 and served as the chair for the 2007 conference.
Melissa has presented at past NAACO conferences, Academic Event Professionals Conference (AEP), and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Special Event conferences. She has lead forums and webinars on a variety of graduation-related concerns including workshops on establishing mission statements for ceremonies, academic versus non-academic ceremonies, volunteer recruitment and retention, as well as how to establish and run graduation convocation events for colleges and special interest groups.
Melissa is a Certified Special Events Professional. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Public Relations from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. She completed Protocol Officer training in April of 2012.