Scholar of the Week

Melody Packard      
Texas State University

Melody Packard’s commitment in giving back to her community, and her initiative in honing her leadership skills, illustrates how deserving she is in being recognized as a scholar. Melody is a Class of 2013 HENAAC Scholar, presented with a $1,000 Davila/Trevino Memorial Scholarship. Following her calling in mathematical physics, she is completing her B.S. in Physics and B.S. in Mathematics at Texas State University.

A natural leader and research advocate, Melody Packard is a force not to be reckoned. She began her academic career as a student in San Antonio College (SAC), pursuing an Associates of Science in Mathematics. During her first summer at SAC, Melody’s mentor encouraged her to apply for an internship at the NASA Johnson Space Center, where she was accepted. Her experience in the summer program sparked Melody’s interest in research. Melody then applied to another research program at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to study X-ray emissions from Type Ia Supernovae 1885A & 1986G. The following summer, Melody participated in more research with the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), modeling gene lengths for long-term genetic evolution relative to biological diversity.

Even though Melody was very involved in research, she still found time to take on leadership roles. She was President and Vice President of The Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) at San Antonio College, and when Melody transferred to Texas State University, she co-founded a SACNAS Chapter. She was also secretary of The Society of Physics Students and webmaster of The Math Club.

As if her leadership commitment were not enough, Melody is an active member is various student organizations, including The American Astronomical Society and The Association for Women in Mathematics. Melody is also very involved outside of school. She volunteers her time in charity work at the Ronald McDonald House, supporting families experiencing hardship with their recovering children. What’s more, a portion of her time is spent mentoring younger student-scholars at Texas High School.

Melody continues to be recognized as a confident and comfortable researcher by faculty. There is no question that she will achieve her career aspirations in becoming among the few Latina role models who are mathematicians and physicists. Congratulations Melody!

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