A double major in philosophy and political science at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, Andrew Meland graduated as a member of the class of 2013. His academic success earned him a prestigious four-year Regent Academic Scholarship from Luther College. Mr. Meland continues his studies as a Master's candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he was awarded a Teaching Assistantship and full tuition waiver with stipend. Mr. Meland's teaching responsibilities have included: "Introdution to Hebrew Bible/Old Testament" (REL ST 2500) and "Introduction to the New Testament" (REL ST 2510).
Also a passionate musician, Andrew Meland first began to play the trombone while in the 5th grade, and later learned the bass guitar in high school. It was also while he was in the 5th grade that Mr. Meland joined his first band, a Dixieland Jazz Band, and he has continued to play in bands ever since. Andrew Meland’s enthusiasm extends to all aspects of music, including listening, playing, and composing, and he finds inspiration from such divergent styles of music as the jazz of Miles Davis to contemporary rock bands like Tool. While enrolled at Lake Forest High School, Mr. Meland held the distinction of First Chair Trombone as a member of the school’s Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Symphonic Orchestra, and has performed as a member of Luther College’s Jazz Band, Trombone Choir, and Varsity Band. Andrew Meland’s dedication to music earned him both the Weston Noble Music Scholarship from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and the Applause Senior Scholarship for Excellence in Music as a graduating senior at Lake Forest.
In January of 2012, Mr. Meland participated in an international studies program in Ghana titled “Christianity, Slavery, and their Representations in Ghanaian Literature” that explored the historical connection between Christianity and the African slave trade. The lessons learned from this trip had a profound impact on Mr. Meland’s life. Andrew Meland tries to positively influence the lives of kids in his Lake Forest, Illinois, community by donating time to a variety of worthwhile programs. Mr. Meland has served as a Trombone Instructor teaching underprivileged children with Bravo Waukegan!, a nonprofit organization that supports public school music programs, and as a Youth Indoor Lacrosse Coach with Lacrosse America.