Name: Melissa Melanie Peterson

Preferred pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Top 5 strengths: Competition, Achiever, Analytical, Developer, Learner

Position title: Associate Director, TRIO STEM

Favorite quote: “If you wait until you can do everything for everybody instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up doing nothing for nobody.” - Unknown

Your top 3 favorite Podcasts/Books: Podcast: All My Relations hosted by Matika Wilbur and Adrienne Keene. Books: There, There By tommy Orange, Dare to Lead by Brene Brown, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.


My name is Melissa Peterson, I am from the Navajo Nation, specifically Ganado Arizona. I came to Lawrence, Kansas to coach volleyball at Haskell Indian Nations University and I loved it here so much I stayed a bit longer.

I am a Virginia Commonwealth University alum and continue to cheer them on, especially in women's volleyball and women's basketball (the two sports I played there). Go Rams! In 2010 I earned my Master of Public Health from the KU Medical Center and now I am working on my Doctorate of Education from KU. In what spare time I should not have, I really enjoy sports, fishing, staying up to date on my TV shows, and learning new things.

In addition to being the Associate Director for TRIO STEM, I advise the First Nations Student Association at KU, am a member of the KU Native Faculty and Staff Council, and help with the Haskell/KU Exchange Program in the Office of Diversity & Equity.