A highlight of her 16- year UMW tenure was the founding of the Stafford Campus Writing Center. She was the center’s first director, beginning in the fall of 2004. Regarded as a demanding yet patient professor, Hawkinson-Melkun used her knowledge and influence to help the many students who passed through the center and her classrooms become better communicators.
Hawkinson-Melkun recognized the difference in the needs of traditional and nontraditional students. She was known for her ability to bring out the best in her students and for her determination to help them succeed.
Hawkinson-Melkun was lauded as a generous and supportive supervisor who empowered her staff members to grow and excel professionally.
She is survived by her family: Keith, Charlotte, Jared, and Hannah Melkun; parents Elden and Elaine; and brother Kent.
Born in West Hills, Calif., Hawkinson-Melkun received a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University, Northridge, and a master’s degree, also in English, from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she later returned to pursue a doctorate, which she completed in 2010.