Finding Greatness: Melinda McElwain

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, September 21, 2020 12:00 AM
Categories: Faculty/Staff | Finding Greatness | Students | Pressroom | School of Health and Natural Sciences

Cochran, GA


After her December 2020 graduation from MGA, rehabilitation science major Melinda McElwain will start her master’s degree as she prepares to become a licensed occupational therapist.

Full Name: Melinda McElwain.

Age: 21.  

Hometown: Warner Robins.

High School: Houston County High School. “I was on the Lady Bears softball team and participated in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, FCCLA (family, career, and community leaders of America), and partner’s club.”

Family: “I got engaged this past summer and will be marrying the love of my life, Tucker Coody, next summer.”  

Employment: “When I’m not in school, I work at Chick-fil-A as a delivery drive. I also am an intern at SenseAbilities therapy clinic where I assist the occupational and physical therapists.”  

Degree Objective: Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Science.

Class Rank: Senior.

Primary Campus: Cochran.

Activities: “Throughout the year, I coach softball, basketball, and soccer to young girls ages 5-10 through my church’s ministry, Victory Sports. I enjoy leading 7th grade girls in Bible study every Wednesday night. During the week, I play on a recreational volleyball team with friends. When I’m not too busy, my fiancée and I enjoy going to the local tennis courts and getting a few matches in.”

Career Goals: “After I graduate in December, I plan to pursue my master’s degree and become a licensed occupational therapist. My ultimate career goal is to be a pediatric occupational therapist and work with children who have disabilities. I love occupational therapy because it makes it possible for people to enjoy life to the fullest and become the best version of themselves. I want to be a part of that and make a difference in other people’s lives.”

She chose Middle Georgia State University because … “I have had a lot of friends that attended and graduated from Middle Georgia State University. They had nothing but good things to say about it. Going to MGA meant I was able to go to an affordable college while receiving a great education. My four years here have been just that. I don’t have the burden of student debt, yet I’ve learned and grown so much in ways that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”  

The greatest thing she discovered about Middle Georgia State was … “How amazing and helpful everyone who works for MGA is. From the front office associates to the registrar people to the professors, I have had only pleasant experiences. I have thoroughly enjoyed the professors who actually care about their students and will do anything to help them.”

Her greatest academic experience as a Middle Georgia State student has been … “Making the dean’s and president’s lists many times. I think there were only two semesters total in my four years at MGA where I didn’t make the president’s or dean’s lists. This is a huge accomplishment to me because I had to work so hard to keep my grades up while balancing work and my social life. I also see it as an accomplishment because I was taking hard science and math classes and managed to keep my GPA high.”

To her, greatness means … “Being your best self and always striving to do your best in everything. Greatness can look different across the board in people’s lives. We all have certain circumstances that we are having to deal with, but I see greatness as how we overcome it and be who we were created to be. For some, greatness may be getting out of bed in the morning while dealing with a mental illness. For others, it could be beating your best time for a marathon.”

In five years ... “I see myself working as an occupational therapist, hopefully in Warner Robins. I will be married by that time and starting a life with my husband. I would like to have kids within the next five years and become an amazing mom and be a great wife. I would like to be furthering my education and going for my doctorate.”