Melissa Parker is a professor in the School of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Northern Colorado. Her areas of interest are elementary physical education and teacher education. Prior to entering higher education, Parker was an elementary physical education teacher in middle school physical education in a special program for underserved youth. Regardless of the level of teaching involved, she has the consistent desire to see students become self-directed, responsible learners. Parker received her PhD and MA from The Ohio State University. Her undergraduate degree was from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, from which she recently received the School of Health and Human Performance Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Parker has been active in a variety of capacities at the state, regional, and national levels of AAHPERD. She has received Honor Awards at the state and national levels for her service and dedication to students..