Ms. Melissa Melgar has been involved professionally in TRIO since 2004. She is a proud TRIO alumna of the MSU Mankato Educational Talent Search, Century College Upward Bound Math and Science, St. Olaf College TRIO Student Support Services, and UMN TRIO McNair programs. She is very passionate about the TRIO mission, programs that work to eliminate barriers to higher education for students from low-income and first-generation backgrounds. Working in TRIO has allowed her to give back to the programs that helped shape her success and work with students from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them reach their professional and academic goals.

As an undergraduate at St. Olaf College, Melissa worked as a summer RA for the TRIO UBMS and SSS programs, was President of the Diversity Awareness Honor House (in the first year of its creation), and was active in student organizations that focused on bringing cultural and diversity awareness to the campus community. She was a tutor and mentor for the TRIO ETS program and later mentored for SSS and Upward Bound. Ms. Melgar graduated with a B.A. in Art Education at St. Olaf College. She received her K-12 teaching license after completing her student teaching in Mussoorie, India.

Melissa went on to complete her M.A. in Education from Concordia University in St. Paul, MN and began working with the St. Olaf TRIO Educational Talent Search program in 2005. In 2007, she was recruited to help establish the new TRIO McNair grant at St. Olaf College. Ms. Melgar is a 2009 EOA Emerging Leader and has been a member and on the Board of the MN TRIO Association and the midwest Educational Opportunity Association (EOA) since 2005, chairing such committees as Technology, Alumni, Scholarships, Archive Management, Conference Planning, Fundraising, Registration, and TRIO Achievers.