Hometown: Tauranga, New Zealand
Major: Recreation Sport Management
Melissa Cairns came to the United States from New Zealand to play volleyball. She was offered many opportunities to play across the United States, but discovered Missouri Western was the perfect fit. “I wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t a big city or a really big school. Missouri Western had exactly what I wanted,” she says.
Her passion for sports and fitness led her to pursue a degree in Recreation Sport Management. She was delighted to land an internship as a river guide at Ace Adventures in West Virginia. “Picking an internship that I knew was going to be challenging was a key factor for me, and this worked out perfectly.”
Every day was a new adventure as Melissa maneuvered white water rafts. She was responsible for the lives of those on her raft, and had to react quickly in case of emergency. Melissa’s time at Missouri Western has prepared her to face challenges on the water as well as in real life.