Melissa Savage earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from Purdue University in 2016. Prior to joining the faculty at UNT, Dr. Savage was an IES postdoctoral research associate at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and spent four years as a secondary Special Education teacher in Indiana. She holds degrees in both Special Education and Exercise Science.
Her research focuses on the use of technology to increase engagement and independence in healthy behaviors and community participation for adults and transition-age youth with developmental disabilities. Along with mentor Kara A. Hume, Dr. Savage received a grant from the Organization from Autism Research for her Step It Up project, focusing on increasing physical activity for adults with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. She has published in journals such as Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Research in Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, and TEACHING Exceptional Children.