Melissa Howell is a 1987 graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma. Following graduation she moved to Kansas City and began working for The Lenexa News, a small suburban weekly. In 1988, she went at the Kansas City Star as a reporter and news clerk.
From 1990 to 1992, she lived in Munich, Germany where she freelanced for an English-language magazine and served as assistant to the dean of the University of Maryland, Munich Campus.
In 1993, she returned to the U.S. and bought a small weekly newspaper in Sterling, Kan. The newspaper was sold in 1997. She was public relations director for The Aegis Companies, St. Gregory’s University and Feed The Children from 1997 to 2005 when she joined The Oklahoman and currently serves as niche publications editor.