Illinois State University school psychology alumna Dr. Melissa Paoni, Ph.D. ’00, has accomplished many things since her time on campus. She is partner/co-owner of the Springfield Psychological Center, and is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified School Psychologist (Board Certified by the National Association of School Psychologists). Paoni participated in multidisciplinary Children’s Miracle Network clinics and became a faculty member in the Pediatrics Department at Southern Illinois University before entering private practice.

In addition, she has authored articles, made professional presentations to national audiences, and has been co-president and treasurer of the Central Illinois Psychological Society. Paoni’s clinical interests include learning disabilities, ADHD, emotional and behavioral adjustments issues, and developmental disorders. She provides individual psychotherapy, behavioral consultation, and diagnostic evaluations of children and adolescents.

Illinois State alumna Dr. Melissa Paoni, Ph.D. '00

Illinois State alumna Dr. Melissa Paoni, Ph.D. ’00

However, now Paoni can add something new to her accomplishments. She recently had two children’s books published, Sarah Stays Home: A Child’s Story of Coping During a Pandemic and Sarah Wears a Mask: A Child’s Story of Adjusting to Pandemic Safety Rules, which have been used in professional child therapy sessions. The books explore the perspective of a child when dealing with worries and adjustments related to coronavirus (COVID-19). All proceeds after expenses are being donated to Doctors without Borders. These resources are available on Amazon for anyone working with children.

In her free time Paoni enjoys biking on the trail, listening to her husband’s band, and getting as much summer sun as possible.