Melissa Jade (Buffalo) Plenty Chief (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe)

The May 2019 UTTC “Alum in the Spotlight” is Melissa Jade (Buffalo) Plenty Chief. Melissa, mother of three, is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes and proud descendant of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Melissa’s journey in higher education started at Haskell Indian Nations University where she completed classes then transferred to United Tribes Technical College (UTTC). Melissa received an AAS degree in Small Business Management on May 5th, 2006 from UTTC and entered the work field of business. After working a while, Melissa decided that an associates degree was not enough to support herself and her children. Melissa started the Bachelor program at UTTC in 2014 and earned a BS degree in Business Administration on May 13, 2016. Soon after graduating, Melissa accepted the position as Executive Assistant to the President of UTTC. While working full time, Melissa enrolled in the Masters program at the University of Mary and received a Master of Science in Business on April 28, 2018. Melissa has recently been selected as Housing Director at UTTC.
“While on my journey in higher education, I noticed a significant difference between TCUs and non TCUs. UTTC provided the resources I needed to be a successful student, such as daycare, housing and scholarship opportunities. I just had to do my part of being a good student by being committed to my goals, attending class and striving for good grades. UTTC has met me half way in setting up a solid foundation in which I could build upon. For example, I used all of the scholarships that UTTC made me aware of and continued the process to successfully complete the master program at the University of Mary WITHOUT STUDENT LOANS. I was very happy to graduate with zero debt.”