Former professor of English and associate dean for student and faculty development in the College of Letters and Science
Melody Zajdel served Montana State University for 35 years, as an English professor and seven years as the associate dean for student and faculty development in the College of Letters and Science. Her work on the inaugural advisory board for the Women’s Center and as co-creator of the women’s studies program was invaluable to the cause of women’s equality at MSU. She very appropriately received the Betty Coffey Award in 1998. Her success as a scholar and educator were renowned as was her commitment to professional volunteer service. Zajdel served as a member of MSU's Faculty Council, Faculty Affairs Committee, University Promotion and Tenure Committee and the Presidential Scholars Selection Committee. She also worked on several program and curriculum initiatives in the university, including the University Honors Program, Reinventing the CORE and the WEEA project. Zajdel eventually became associate dean of the College of Letters and Science and retired only a couple of short years ago before her passing in 2017. Zajdel was an enormous presence at MSU. Her sharp intellect, inclusive spirit, wonderful sense of humor, sense of justice, advocacy and sincere warmth always made working with her an educational experience and immense pleasure.
Melody Zajdel was the heart, brains and soul of the women’s and gender studies minor.