Melissa Falen
Associate Professor
School of Education
Marion Burk Knott (MBK) 226
Programs I teach...

School of Education


  • M.A. in Education, Fairfield University
  • B.S. in Health & Physical Education, West Chester University


I joined Notre Dame in 1989as an instructor in physical education and head field hockey and lacrosse coach. I am currently an associate professor, delivering health and wellness physical education courses for the general education curriculum. I also teach first year seminar for new students and work with the athletic department providing academic support for our student athletes. I teach wellness from an individual and a global perspective and developed a gender focused course which is a passion of mine: American Women in Sports History. I recently developed our first online physical fitness course.

During my coaching years, I represented Notre Dame in numerous elected and appointed positions, including serving on the U.S. Lacrosse Association Board of Directors, the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches’ Association (IWLCA) Board of Directors, and chaired the NCAA women’s lacrosse committee. More recently I have served on the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) “Sports 4 Life” grants committee.

Over the years I have served on numerous Notre Dame committees and task forces, as well as most major institutional committees. My most recent service at NDMU includes the Faculty Senate, Grievance Committee, Honor Board, Chalk & Wire Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee Task Force on Student Life.

Recent Presentations

  • 29th Annual National Service Learning Conference, 2018: Presenter: Making a Difference
  • Common Ground Sport & Society Conference: Special Focus - Sports Impacts: Reshaping Cities, Environments, People, 2018: Focused discussion presenter: Making a Difference : A Mentoring Program Partnering a Collegiate Sports Team with an Inner City Public Middle School Team
  • Title IX invited speaker to Digital Harbor HS, talk for female student athletes, emphasizing gender equality and how to address inequities, 2014
  • Title IX invited speaker for panel discussion at IWLCA convention and annual meetings, 2012
  • Women in Baseball in recognition of National Girls a& Women in Sports day and Women’s History Month, Lecture at Loyola/College of Notre Dame Library, with Erin Foley 2011

Professional Associations

  • Society of Health & Physical Educators (SHAPE)
  • American Association of University Professionals (AAUP)
  • National Association for Girls and Women in Sports (NAGWS)
  • National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE)

Honors and Awards

  • Awarded United States of America Pickleball Association USAPA equipment grant, 2016
  • NDMU President’s Medal, 2014
  • Inducted to NDMU Athletics Hall of Fame, 2014
  • Awarded USL Will 2 Win Grant 2011
  • Awarded USL Will 2 Win Grant, 2010
  • Tenure, 2007