The Melissa Institute Moves to New Home at the University of Miami

IMG_7599The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment has a new home at the University of Miami School of Education and Human Development, located in Coral Gables. The nonprofit organization will remain an independent corporate entity, according to Lynn Aptman, The Melissa Institute’s president.

                “We’re delighted about our move to UM,” she said.  “There will be many opportunities for The Melissa Institute to collaborate with the University’s School of Education and Human Development’s Community and Educational Well-being Research Center (CEW) on projects of mutual interest.”

                The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention was formed in 1995 by Lynn and Michael Aptman, M.D., whose daughter Melissa was killed in a St. Louis, Mo., car-jacking just two weeks before her college graduation. Other founders included clinical psychologist Susan Keeley, Ph.D., and psychologist Don Meichenbaum, Ph.D., who serves as research director for The Melissa Institute.

                Until the move to UM the Institute had been located in South Miami.  Much of the Institute’s work is conducted by a volunteer Scientific Board and others with expertise in violence prevention.

                 Ms. Aptman said The Melissa Institute is excited about its new home on the UM campus, “where we’ll continue our work in research and education relating to violence prevention.”

                Etiony Aldarondo, Ph.D., director of the CEW and a member of the Scientific Board of The Melissa Institute, was instrumental in bringing The Melissa Institute to the UM campus. “We’re delighted that we’ll be working together on research and educational activities, “he said. “We are pleased to support the important work of The Melissa Institute.” Dr. Aldarondo was recently elected to serve on the Institute’s Board of Directors as a non-voting member.

                The Institute hosts conferences on topics relating to violence prevention, provides consulting services, offers bullying prevention seminars to school children, and hosts websites that provide the latest information on violence prevention. It also has a free website for teachers to help them teach reading. (Research shows that literacy is a significant factor in preventing youth from a life of crime.)

                For more information about the Institute, contact Frank DeLaurier, Ed.D., Executive Director, at 305-284-2930 or go to

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