SUU to Everywhere

Melinda Pfundstein ('00 / '15)

Melinda Pfundstein ('00 / '15)
SUU to International Nonprofit Leader

Originally published on October 01, 2019.

As co-founding executive director of StateraArts, an international nonprofit taking positive action to bring women into full and equal participation in the arts, Melinda Pfundstein is realizing her true passion of creating space for others to succeed and share their magic.

"I get to witness people being the most beautiful version of themselves, and it is an absolute honor," she says of her roles as both an executive director and a theater director. "I think this happens when people get to show up as their whole selves, acting through their own strengths in a place of ease and energy, and serving as only they can do through their particular lens of experience."

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, but raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Melinda came to SUU with plans to study psychology. While she switched her major to theatre, she never forgot her first psychology course taught by Professor Les Jones, and his meaningful and iconic question: "Why do we do the things we do?" Those words have been on loop for her in everything she has accomplished creatively, professionally, and personally.

"SUU gave me the space to explore that question and some really big solutions in my own way and in my own time," she says.

A self-described "life-long learner," she credits SUU with providing the freedom to take classes that aligned with her unique curiosity. And, she often reflects on her first visit to SUU, walking across campus as a wide-eyed and curious freshman, without a clue of what the future held, and says now that she is grateful for that experience.

She has experienced SUU at all facets: undergrad student, grad student, adjunct, assistant professor, and a proud alum and supporter. In each relationship with SUU she was afforded the ability to choose learning and inquiry, and to be challenged and inspired in unique ways.

"This has been a true gift and has allowed me to turn my education and professional experience into an innovative career path that has been truly fulfilling," she says.

Melinda resides in Cedar City and enjoys spending time with her three daughters. She is a closet writer, daily reader and meditator, and loves the outdoors.