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Dr. Melinda

Executive Director for Network Engagement

Dr. Melinda J. Anderson has worked in higher education for over 20 years, including various academic and student affairs roles. Her passion and commitment to student success have allowed her to operate in many different capacities focusing on student success, persistence, and retention. Prior to her current appointment as Executive Director for Network Development for Achieving the Dream, she served as the Executive Director for NACADA, Global Community for Academic Advising which provides programs, services, and professional development for over 13,000 members globally. Anderson currently holds a teaching position in the Kansas State University College of Education’s Leadership in Academic Advising doctoral program.

Dr. Anderson graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and a Master’s in Adult Education. She earned her doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the College of William and Mary.

She is originally from Northern Virginia and currently lives with her husband, Chris, and two amazing children, Ashley and Caleb, in Chesapeake, VA.


Ed.D. (Higher Education Administration) | College of William and Mary

M.Ed (Adult Education) | Virginia Commonwealth University

B.S. (Mass Communications) | Virginia Commonwealth University

Past Experience:

Executive Director | NACADA, The Global Community for Academic Advising

Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success (Interim) | Elizabeth City State University

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Director of the University College | University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Director of Pre-Health and Pre-Law Advising | Virginia Commonwealth University

How has education changed your life/your family?            

The impact of education on my family and my life is immeasurable. The process of learning has continued to develop me in transformative ways. As a black woman in America, my parents knew that education was critical to my success. I have been able to think and move differently because of how I have applied what I have learned. My children will see the world through different lenses because of my experiences. We should never stop learning as the world is always changing, and as individuals, we will always need to grow and evolve in ways where we can positively impact our places, spaces, and communities.

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