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One of Don Melichar’s colleagues described him as a man who was known for his “sometimes gruff exterior that was never able to cover up his humor, good-nature, and, especially, his willingness to do anything to help out students.”
Melichar retired this summer as professor and chair emeritus of English and Philosophy after dedicating 20 years to UCM and its students. Melichar became chair of the Department of English and Philosophy in 2008, and served at that position until his retirement this summer. In addition to his duties as chair, since 1998 he served as English education coordinator, and was sometimes the only one in the department to have this role. As such, he was responsible for supervising student teachers and advising all English majors working toward teacher certification, therefore contributing to UCM’s strength in teacher preparation. He also taught Western literature and a popular course in ethnic American literature, in which he taught Chicano/a literature. This helped bring diversity into the classroom and broaden perspectives of UCM students.
Melichar was a member of the Huffman Scholarship Committee for four years and was a member of the Professional Education Faculty. He was elected twice to serve on the Teacher Education Council, and he chaired that active committee until 2008.
Among his accomplishments as department chair, Melichar oversaw a successful redesign of Engl 1020: First-Year Composition, and was instrumental in strengthening the Writing Program with a new hire with a specialization in composition and rhetoric. He wrote numerous book reviews and contributed many other scholarly works to national journals. His college education consists of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Montana, and a Doctor of Education degree from Arizona State University.