Melinda Anderson

August 22, 2017

Melinda Anderson was raised to believe in the power of education. That belief inspired her to pursue a career helping students succeed.

“I fell in love with the idea of supporting students and quickly got to work to determine what area of higher education would suit me best,” said Anderson, associate dean of undergraduate studies and director of University College. “I like to say that I was born in student affairs and raised in academic affairs.”

Over the years, Anderson has worked in several areas that support students in reaching their educational and professional goals. Before joining UNCW in August 2015, she was the director of pre-health and pre-law advising at Virginia Commonwealth University and was responsible for supporting academic advising and program support for all students interested in pursuing professional programs. She also served as an associate director of academic advising at the College of William & Mary.

Anderson says she was attracted to UNCW because of its student-centered focus and impressed by the university’s commitment to a robust undergraduate education.

“Students are the heart of any institution, and I felt that this was the case here,” she said. “The University College model is not found in many colleges or universities and for UNCW to invest in a full intake model to support freshmen and sophomores until they declared their major – I was impressed!”

In her role, Anderson is involved in student success initiatives focused on retention, advising and academic support. One initiative she plans to fully implement is a new mentoring program called Seahawk LEADS, a program that connects faculty and staff with students who are looking for extra support during their first year of school. A pilot program was launched in the spring.

“Student success is my passion,” she said. “I am excited about having the opportunity to influence the way the university supports student success. I have an opportunity to connect with students, staff, faculty and families to build networks, programs and events that are designed to help students persist and complete their educational goals. I am honored to support students in their academic journey here at UNCW.”

Philanthropic gifts to the University College support students as they explore undergraduate curriculum and career paths, prepare to declare an appropriate major, and succeed in their transition to UNCW. 

- Venita Jenkins