Marisa Melillo

Patrick Maguire

Every day students pass Quinnipiac University’s post office, located in the Carl Hansen Student Center, and each time they are greeted by the familiar and smiling face of Marisa Melillo, the postmistress.

“My job is an organized chaos,” Melillo said.

For the last 16 years, Melillo, a New Haven native, has been an employee of the University. Originally, she worked in the Bursar’s Office, but after a year, there was an opening at the post office and she signed up. Her first obligation upon being hired was attending a “few Postmaster seminars,” she said.

In her 15 years of being a postmistress, Melillo, 52, has had her share of alarming situations.

One day while she was in the post office she heard a ticking sound. She called University Security and they arrived with the bomb squad. Searching through the office, the squad found the package and inside was a clock, she said.

“When I think about it now, it is actually quite funny, but when it happened in 2000, it was certainly nothing to joke about,” she said.

Melillo, who attended Southern Connecticut State University, also explains how another threat affected her.

“The thing I am most scared of is anthrax,” she said. “Ever since 2001 when many people had anthrax scares, I have worried.”

Part of Melillo’s job entails assisting students and faculty with mailings, distribution and mailroom duties.

“‘Can I please have my combination’ is the most annoying thing I hear,” Melillo said. “Especially from the sophomores and juniors who have been here for a while.”

Students who have had the opportunity to work with Melillo through the work-study program have said nothing but positive comments about her.

“Marisa is the best,” Melissa Rivera, 21, a physical therapy major from Long Island, said. “I’ve been working here for four years, and if Marisa was not my boss I would have quit.”

Another student, Christie Lamonte, 21, says she likes having someone who knows what she is doing when it comes to her valuable mail.

The daughter of Anthony and Kathryn Pegnataro, Melillo is happily married to Thomas Melillo, 55, who is both a florist and an event planner. Together they have three children, Thomas, Jr., 26, Nicholas, 25, and Felicity, 23. Both Nicholas and Felicity are graduates of Quinnipiac.

Despite Melillo’s childhood dreams of one day opening up a bakery and calling it “Marisa’s Morsels,” she expects to stay the postmistress at Quinnipiac University for many years to come. “I love it,” she said. “No matter how hectic it is.”