Spotlight: Melanie Snyder, J.D.

Many professors at Stevenson University have greatly influenced the lives of their students, and law professor Melanie Snyder is no exception. From teaching law classes at Stevenson, advising the Mock Trial team, and teaching at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, Snyder has proven that professors can have great significance in the lives and careers of students.

Professor Melanie Snyder (center front) is an inspiration to her Mock Trial team, shown here with her, as well as to her law students. (Photo courtesy of Lindsay Somuah)

Snyder developed a love for law when she was working in litigation after she graduated from the University of Baltimore law school and went on to teach human resources professionals about the law and their rights. During this time, she discovered her passion for teaching.

After spending some time educating professionals about their rights at HR meetings, Snyder decided to teach a business law course at Anne Arundel Community College, which reaffirmed her passion for the classroom. In 2000, Snyder contacted Joyce Becker, the paralegal studies department chair of Stevenson at the time, and got a position as an adjunct professor teaching civil litigation. “The rest is history,” she said.

Snyder said that she loves her students. She loves “making the difference in the life of a student, teaching students, and seeing what [the] students can accomplish.” She added that she would never change anything about her profession, and whenever she’s asked about what she sees herself doing in the next five years, she simply states, “I’d be doing the same thing at the same place, but I would just be better at it.”

Needless to say, Snyder’s passion to bring out the best in each of her students, her zeal for the law, and love for teaching, have made her a cherished professor. Recent legal studies graduate Dorothy Hinson described Snyder as “the answer to so many students’ prayers.” Current junior legal studies major and member of the mock trial team, Ayanna Crawley said that “there are professors who simply teach in class, and then there are professors like Snyder that go above and beyond for her students.” Crawley added that it isn’t uncommon for her to brag to her friends about Snyder because the professor is someone to whom students can go to at any time to talk about anything.

Outside of Stevenson, Snyder is a devoted wife, dedicated mother of three, and an active member of her church where she serves in the children’s ministry. Often her family, friends and co-workers wonder where she finds time to balance it all and still have a willingness to sacrifice time for her students. There is no doubt that professors like Snyder are hard to find, but the Stevenson community is grateful to have pure hearts like hers as part of the team.

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