Melodi Flack is graduating with a degree in Education Sciences. During her time at UCI, she helped found and has served as president of the School of Education's branch of the international honors society, Kappa Delta Pi (KDP). In reflecting on her educational journey, Melodi shares the following:
I was born in Singapore and started my K-12 journey at an international school in Germany because my father traveled quite a bit for work. After living in Germany for two years, our family moved back to California, and San Diego became my hometown. As a young girl, I loved school, I loved to read, and most of all, I loved animals. I decided to become a vet and chased after that dream for most of grade school.
When I was eight years old, my father passed away. After that year, I switched elementary schools and withdrew into my studies, especially because my Korean “tiger mom” was so academically strict with me. Grade school trudged by, and towards the end of high school, I experienced a switch in passions.
During my high school years, I would volunteer at an animal center’s “critter camps" every summer and ended up working with children more than with animals. For three years, I spent every Saturday morning teaching art and music to special education students. My junior and senior year, I met with a small group of younger students monthly to discuss books and also private-tutored Korean students from grades K-8 weekly. I slowly realized how much I loved teaching, and that ten years of rigorous studying in veterinary school was not a fit for me. I knew I’d much rather be working with children than have my nose in science textbooks and animal carcasses for years.
Somehow, I fell right into the perfect university for me. I initially picked UC Irvine because the School of Education was new — which meant possible leadership opportunities — and I was admitted into the Campus-wide Honors Program. During my time here, I have fallen deeply in love with UCI. The faculty is made up of kind and inspiring teachers, the student atmosphere is pleasant, and Aldrich Park is absolutely beautiful.
My most noteworthy contribution to UCI, and more specifically to the School of Education, is Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), an international honors society dedicated to promoting excellence in education and teachers. I’m proud to have been one of the founders, and then president, for the KDP chapter at UCI. In fact, most of my time spent on campus has been either for class or KDP. I hope to return in the future as an alumni and see how it has grown!
Outside of school, I worked for ELITE, an SAT and AP tutoring center; and during my study abroad in South Korea, I interned for two well-known television broadcasting systems. For one of these I filmed 54 episodes as the “English-speaking story-time fairy.” I also was signed to a modeling agency, but currently am self-employed. Work experience aside, some of my hobbies include playing the piano, horseback riding, and hanging out with my pet cat, Tobi.
My twenty years of life so far have been all over the place, and I can only dream of so much more! Hopefully someday, after my immediate post-graduate plans of teaching English internationally and working in television, I can become an elementary school teacher as well as a motivational speaker so that I can share all my experiences with the incoming generations and perhaps inspire and push them to try everything they’ve ever dreamed of.