Melissa Macphee: Master’s Student Graduate Research Excellence Award

The Master’s Student Graduate Research Excellence Award recognizes a student who has an exemplary record of research and scholarly activity.

Portrait of Melissa Macphee
Photo taken in adherence with health and safety guidelines.

Melissa Macphee aims to understand why mental health services are underutilized by law enforcement and how they can be better delivered which, in turn, will help first responders better serve vulnerable populations and communities. 

The Marine Corps Veteran’s mixed-method investigation of mental health issues and the needs of law enforcement officers was so rigorous that Macphee’s research mentor, Elizabeth Depoy, professor of social work, encouraged her to submit it for publication—rare among social work researchers before receiving a doctorate, let alone a master’s degree. Her manuscript is currently under review in the seminal Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology. 

Macphee managed this research amid the demands of maintaining a 4.0 and the 900 hours of field experience required by her program. She was so impactful during her field placement with the Veteran’s Affairs Caregivers Program that she was invited to present at the National Caregivers Month Colloquium. 

After she graduates with a Master’s of Social Work, Macphee plans to pursue a doctorate that focuses on mental health services and a clinical social service provision.