Alumni Testimonial - Melanie Krieps Mergen

Melanie Krieps Mergen

Melanie Krieps Mergen ('17) credits the English and Modern Languages ?dream team? as mentors who inspired and challenged her to grow as a person and a writer. After graduating, Melanie went on to Columbia University to obtain her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

Double majoring in English and music, Melanie says Briar Cliff gave her a solid foundation. They instilled the core Franciscan values, like valuing community and reverencing creation as pillars that mark the ways to live a meaningful life and make a positive impact on your world.

"Now that I'm in a graduate program for writing, I'm realizing now more than ever how outstanding the Modern Languages department is," says Melanie. "My time as an English major at Briar Cliff gave me the foundation I needed to hit the ground running."

She also attributes her success to the music department for giving her such valuable background knowledge of music history and theory concepts.

"As a singer-songwriter, this has helped me write better, more complex songs, and I have an understanding of the moves I'm making when composing, which not all songwriters are able to say," she says.

Melanie released her first studio album "As Fall Froze Over" in October of 2016 which even has a song dedicated to Briar Cliff and she recently recorded her second studio album "Metamorphosis." She is set to graduate from Columbia University in 2019.