Miss A Columnist

Melissa Curtin covers charity and style related events and loves to cover LA's best in beauty, fashion, and culture. She is an educator who recently returned to the classroom to motivate and inspire third graders at a private school in Pacific Palisades. In 2012, she launched an educational T-shirt line called Wear2learn. When she is not working out, hiking a canyon, or at the beach, she is writing. Her latest dream come true has been travel writing for Johnny Jet.

After teaching in the Maryland public school system for almost a decade, she left the conservative East Coast environment in Washington, DC for West Coast living. Eager for adventure, inner growth, and a new environment, she packed her car and took to the open road on her own landing in her new home - Hollywood, California. As a Connecticut Yankee at heart, she has now lived in Los Angeles for six years surrounded by the stars.

Melissa graduated from Gettysburg College with a double major in psychology and art history. Soon after, she earned a Master's Degree in education. Melissa traveled around the world on Semester at Sea, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to teach in England. A lust for travel and learning has fueled her globe trotting ever since. Some of her favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Thailand, Fiji, Morocco, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Sicily, Prague, Egypt, Australia, Greece, and Paris.

Los Angeles has won over her heart. She is constantly taking advantage of what LA LA Land has to offer - new boutiques and restaurants, finding great deals, discovering new hikes and beaches, music, and West Coast fashion.

Recap: Semester At Sea Comedic Fundraiser At The Hollywood Improv

What a night of nonstop laughter at the Hollywood Improv on Tuesday, July 17, 2012! The Semester at Sea Stand-up Comedy Fundraiser far exceeded my expectations as one comedian after another had us crying and howling with laughter. I have frequented the Hollywood Improv for some big name acts on many occasions and this night took the cake.

Semester at Sea

Semester at Sea (Photo credit: thehillnews.org)

I was happy to see a packed house for this Semester at Sea Fundraiser that pulled in about $2,000, not including donations, to send future students to attend this once-in-a-lifetime cultural campus around the world. The fundraising efforts are integral to allowing potential students to apply for scholarships, as well as offer aide so that university students can spend a semester on this incredible learning voyage. Need-based and merit-based scholarships and grants awarded in 2012 totaled $4.4 million.

I participated in Semester at Sea while attending Gettysburg College in 1994. Students from around the world met to study aboard this floating campus as we traveled to some 13 countries to learn firsthand about their cultures and relate our travels and experiences to our studies. Volunteer programs are also a huge proponent of this program, and these 100 days was one of the top experiences of my life that has forever altered my outlook on life and my view of the world.

Semester at Sea Fundraiser at Hollywood Improv

Semester at Sea Fundraiser at Hollywood Improv (Photo Credit: laughstub.com)

Established in 1963, Semester at Sea is the only global education program of its kind in the world. Using a ship as a traveling campus, undergraduates, lifelong learners, faculty and lecturers live and learn together while circumnavigating the globe each fall and spring semester and exploring a world region each May and summer term. Credit earned is fully transferable by the University of Virginia. Faculty are experts in their disciplines and are drawn from the finest colleges and universities. As many as 2,000  undergraduates participate each year in SAS voyages, representing an average of 260 colleges and universities. Explore what makes Semester at Sea so distinctive by checking out their website–Global, Comparative, Hands-on.

Former SAS students performed at the Hollywood Improv, like Iliza Shlesinger, the youngest winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing (who impersonated girls acting like sheep after a night of drinking) and Theo Von (MTV Road Rules, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central) among others. Other hilarious comedic artists included Mychael Anthony, Ben Gleib (often seen on Chelsea Lately) who roused the audience with his wit and questions, Andrew Santino and Sherry Sirof, a mom sharing her anal sex hilarities.

Apply online or donate to help future SAS students. Donate online HERE with their secure online giving form.


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