A donut-fueled Discoverer
Melise is easy to spot, she is usually the girl with an afro likely eating an entire box of pastries.
What are your three favorite things to do?
My three favorite things to do are reading, being outside and eating sweet treats.
Where are your three favorite places to be?
Squamish, BC; Boone, North Carolina; Gold Bar, Washington.
What is your greatest passion?
Neuroscience, climbing and helping others.
What keeps your passion alive?
Constantly learning new things, whether that be new information or discoveries in science or new areas to explore in climbing.
What is one thing that people don't know about you, but should?
I can eat at least 6 doughnuts in one sitting. I got embarrassed after 6 and had to stop myself but I could have definitely eaten more.
What is your wildest adventure?
Navigating full time work, training for climbing, online classes, volunteering and side projects for different companies. Talk about wild!
If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be?
I would go to Rocklands, South Africa for the climbing and wildlife!
What is your personal definition of feminism?
My personal definition of feminism would include trusting women to make their own decisions as well as securing equal rights for women. I've seen so many instances of groups claiming feminism but follow it with shaming women for wearing make up, being too "fragile," wearing the wrong types of clothes, etc. If you are truly a feminist, you wouldn't need to interject your opinion on every facet of a woman's existence. Treat women as equal, trust women to make their own decisions, empower by listening.
What do you find valuable in being a woman in the adventure/outdoor industry?
As a woman in the outdoor industry, I find it valuable to engage in dialogue about feminism, diversity, privilege and how these things are inextricably linked in the bigger picture that includes society at large and, by extension, our smaller outdoor communities.
Who is another woman who inspires you?
Bethany Lebewitz is an amazing woman who seeks to encourage diversity in climbing through her website, social media and events.
In the coming years, where would you like to see women in sports/adventure/outdoors?
In the coming years, I would like to see women--specifically more women of color--represented in all outdoor sports, especially rock climbing. We shouldn't forget that speaking about women in the outdoors hasn't always been an extremely inclusive discussion; diversity is sorely needed in the outdoor industry.