Student Employee of the Year

‘Wizard of Sound’ Awarded Student Employee of the Year

 Date published: April 25, 2016
Evyan MelendezNicknamed the “Wizard of Sound” in the scene shop of the Margaret Jonsson Theater, senior Evyan Melendez first started working in the Drama Department in 2012 as their sound engineer. Over the last four years, Melendez has been responsible for engineering the sound in almost a dozen mainstage plays for the university’s theater productions; recently, he was named the student employee of the 2015-2016 academic year for the entire university. 

But before Melendez was living in Texas and attending UD, he was studying in Puerto Rico.

At a college fair when he was a senior in high school, Melendez met a University of Dallas international admissions counselor, who gave him assurance and details about UD’s phenomenology study in psychology. Melendez was immediately drawn in.

“She warned me that it was extremely academically rigorous, and I was sold on the challenge,” said Melendez.

When Melendez first heard about the Rome Program at UD he was even further sold on attending. He knew UD was going to be his new home.  “I knew I needed to get out of my island mentality and see the world, and the Rome Program at UD was the best way to do that,” said Melendez.

Melendez struggled with the cultural change and move at first. His English was broken and choppy, and his studies suffered until he became more fluent and comfortable with his English. “Aristotle means nothing if you can't read him,” said Melendez.

Melendez still misses what he used to call home. He remembers his mother and grandmother fondly. “My mother always said, ‘I don't care what career you end up choosing, but whatever it is, just be the best one at it,’” recalled Melendez.

Melendez’s mother and grandfather both still live in Puerto Rico; they help him pay for school and travel during the summer and winter breaks so he can visit home.

Last week, Melendez was awarded the student employee of the year. Melendez’s mother was elated to hear her son had been honored with this award for his hard work.

“I didn’t know what to do with myself,” said Melendez. "For a second I didn’t know what was going on. My years here just flashed before my eyes.”

“I felt so fulfilled at my job,” he continued. “I just felt so honored, I was remised, I was without words.”

After graduation, Melendez is going for his doctorate in music-thanatology.

“I want to focus on research, and grief, and helping actively dying people overcome the anxiety and pain of their imminent mortality,” he said.  

Melendez will never forget the joy of working in the Drama Department. He will carry his UD experience with him everywhere he goes. He will always cherish the opportunities he’s been given at UD, and he will always love the theater.

“I think it’s the magic of the theater. You sort of work so hard on making something look beautiful to tell a story with art,” said Melendez. “All you take away is what you did, because nothing will remain standing.”

News

University Welcomes Leading Catholic Intellectual to Campus

On Friday, Sept. 13, the university community welcomed George Weigel, distinguished senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the father of two UD alumnae. Celebrated for his two-volume biography of St. John Paul II and many other intellectual contributions, Weigel presented an exploration of the current Catholic situation in light of a new interpretation of the past 250 years of the church's interaction with social, cultural, economic and political modernity.

+ Read More

Recent DBA Alumnus Begins Tenure-Track Position at UNI

Gabe Dickey, DBA '19, recently successfully defended his dissertation, titled "Exploring the Human Side of Audit Quality: Team Engagement and Partner Leadership Behaviors," for UD's Doctor of Business Administration. Dickey has spent his career in the accounting profession, the vast majority as a certified public accountant working in auditing. He began UD's DBA program three years ago, drawn in by his interest in broader business issues and the program's practitioner-oriented focus.

+ Read More

Longtime Campus Safety Officer Sworn In to UDPD

Carlos Tijerina came to UD as a Campus Safety officer 23 years ago. He has loved the camaraderie of the CSO, but it has always been his dream to become a police officer. Then, a little over a year ago, UD finally got a police department. On Sept. 10, Tijerina was sworn in by President Thomas Hibbs as an official part of the UDPD team.

+ Read More