DEPARTMENT: Applied Social Sciences Dept
POSITION: Asst Professor of Social Work
LOCATION: Main Campus, Harrisonburg | RLN 203
PHONE: (540) 432-4454
Melody M. Pannell was born and raised in Harlem, New York City. Growing up, she attended Seventh Avenue Mennonite Church in Harlem, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan and Wilfred Academy of Beauty where she studied fashion, cosmetology, music and the arts. In 1990, Melody M. Pannell received her calling from The Lord to minister to the holistic needs of adolescent girls while serving as a youth counselor at Camp Deerpark Inc. In response to her call, she started The Seventh Avenue Mennonite Church Girls Group from 1990 – 1993, which has evolved into The Destiny’s Daughter’s Empowerment Ministry LLC. In 1992, Melody M. Pannell obtained a Foundational Church Ministries Certificate from The Evangelical Training Association at The New York School of The Bible.
In continued pursuit of her calling towards Christian Ministry and the field of Clinical Counseling, Melody M. Pannell graduated from Eastern Mennonite University, receiving her Bachelors in Social Work and Youth Ministry in 1997. She also holds a Masters in Social Work from Fordham University in New York City and in addition, Pannell recently obtained a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Arts in Christian Education degree from The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.
Melody M. Pannell has served in the field of Social Work, Higher Education and Christian Ministry for over 25 years. Pannell was recognized for serving for over 5 years as The University Counselor in The Office of Counseling Services at Virginia Union University where she empowered students to overcome their obstacles, realize their potential and reach their academic and personal goals. Prior to her appointment at Virginia Union University, Pannell served for over 5 years as the Director of Multicultural Services at Eastern Mennonite University from 2003 – 2008.
Currently, Pannell serves as a Full – Time Tenure – Track Assistant Professor of Social Work in the Department of Applied Social Sciences and Chairperson for the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, returning back to her undergraduate alma mater, Eastern Mennonite University. She was also recently appointed as the Chairperson for the Religious Affairs Committee of the Harrisonburg – Rockingham County NAACP.
Melody M. Pannell is also a recent Award Recipient of the Summer Institute for Reconciliation at Duke Divinity School and a recent Engle Fellow for the 16th annual Joe R. Engle Institute of Preaching at Princeton Theological Seminary.
It is her life mission to embody practical theology through the values and ethics of social work and encourage those that she serves to engage in a transformative journey of “emancipatory hope in action” and empowerment through holistic, therapeutic and restorative ministry. In her mission to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and reach out to young people all over the world, Melody M. Pannell is the Founder and Executive Director of The Destiny’s Daughters Empowerment Ministry LLC. and the Assistant Executive Director of Men About Positive Purpose LLC, a spiritual empowerment and personal leadership development program which strives to assist adolescents and young adults to evolve into persons of good character and integrity, enable them to overcome challenges and realize their God – Given purpose through therapeutic mentorship, spiritual formation, community organizing.
BS, Eastern Mennonite University
MSW, Fordham University
MDIV, Virginia Union University
MA, Virginia Union University