May 27, 2003

Roberts known as star player, on and off softball field

By Beverly Clark

Melissa Roberts just earned her bachelor’s in neuroscience and behavioral biology from Emory College, but she also deserves a PhD in time management. In the classroom, the Phi Beta Kappa scholar excelled in a demanding major.

On the field, she led the women’s softball team to a University Athletic Association title and the Div. III Softball World Series. And in her residence hall, she provided guidance and service to her fellow students as an advisor.

Roberts’ accomplishments earned her Emory’s highest student honor, the Marion Luther Brittain Award, given to a member of the graduating class in recognition of service to the University performed without expectation of reward or recognition. It was established at Emory in 1942 through a bequest from alumnus M.L. Brittain, a former president of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“I used my time as best I could to get the most in, and enjoyed it all,” said Roberts, an Emory Scholar and native of Billings, Mont. “I was shocked to be honored with such an award. I feel very lucky to have found a school that was such a good match for me. The people I’ve met and the friendships I’ve made are a huge part of what made my experience at Emory so incredible. I’m proud to have been part of such an outstanding community.”

Among her many academic honors at Emory was her selection as a Bobby Jones Scholar, which involves a full scholarship for a post-graduate year abroad at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, Emory’s sister institution.

During her year at St. Andrews, Roberts said she plans to study and research comparative health care and neuroscience, as well as play sports and teach softball at a town youth center. When she returns from her year abroad, Roberts hopes to attend medical school.

As a freshman, Roberts joined a softball program that was just a year old as part of its inaugural recruiting class.

As co-captain, she has helped lead the team to three consecutive appearances in the NCAA national tournament, including a fourth-place finish at this month’s Div. III World Series, and most recently the team was ranked second in the nation in Div. III by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. She has been named to the All-Region team for the past three years and served as president of Emory’s Varsity Athletic Council this past year.

Roberts also distinguished herself as a Residence Life staff member for three years, serving as a senior resident advisor during 2002–03. One of her nominators for the Brittain Award described her as a team player who is “assertive, calm under pressure, friendly, service-centered and time-focused.”