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Melanie S Drake

Drake Melanie
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations for Admission Programs
Email: drakem[at]grinnell[dot]edu

What I Do

Work with alumni volunteers who are interested in assisting with admission efforts (our alumni help in a variety of ways from interviewing prospective students to attending college fairs on behalf of Grinnell to hosting admitted student events across the country). Feel grateful to Grinnell alumni for being so proud of their school and so eager to share their experiences. Look forward to further developing our alumni in admission program, since I'm both a Grinnell grad and a former college counselor who has worked with high school students as they research and apply to colleges. Explore my community by finding new running paths or learning about new restaurants. Attend city events ranging from live music to light-up-the-night bike rides. Make new friends via our very vocal coonhound, Mowgli, who often announces his presence hoping to be rewarded with a nice treat. Try new recipes, particularly of different ethnic origins – the spicier the better!

What I Did

Grew up in Colorado Springs and in Grinnell. Completed my undergraduate degree at Grinnell in anthropology with a gender and women's studies concentration (now gender, women's, and sexuality studies is its own interdisciplinary major). Volunteered in Costa Rica teaching English through WorldTeach. Taught Spanish stateside and worked on a variety of college and high school campuses. Earned my master's from the University of Iowa in student development in postsecondary education with a minor in international education. Lived in St. Louis, central Pennsylvania, Chicago, Grinnell, Colorado Springs, and Tucson. Decided, with my husband, to live in a smaller community and chose a community in Iowa ... so are now back in the state where we first met.

What I Love

Both my home states: Colorado and Iowa. Our rustic family cabin in the Colorado mountains which I consider my home away from home. Meeting and getting to know people, because everyone has a story to tell. Hearing people's stories. My creative and quirky husband and my goofy dog. My extended family and spending as much time with them as I can. Reading, running, playing games, watching movies. Going to the farmers market and picking out the freshest produce ... then figuring out what to make with it. Indian food. My friends – I still have a group of Grinnell gal pals whose friendship has spanned over 20 years – we are in email contact daily. That's amazing to me and speaks so much to the lifelong bonds of Grinnell connections.

Campus Phone: 

(641) 269-3208


Colorado Springs, CO and Grinnell, IA

High School: 

Grinnell Community Senior High School


Grinnell College

College Graduation Year: 


Off-Campus Study: 

ACM Tropical Field Research - Costa Rica

Campus Job(s): 

Assistant Director of Alumni Relations for Admission Programs

Personal Interests: 

Running, Gardening, Being Outside, Yoga, Making/Consuming Good Food, Time with Friends and Family, Reading, Singing

On-Campus Address: 

FLR-2 Old Glove Factory
Grinnell, IA 50112

Education / Degrees: 

University of Iowa MA: Student Development in Postsecondary Education; Minor: International Education. Grinnell College BA: Anthropology; Concentration in Gender and Women's Studies