It's either going to be a great time
or a good story or both.
Aggie women are doing extraordinary things across the globe and the Aggie Women Network want to shine a spotlight on each of them.
Melanie Shankle is the New York Times bestselling author of Sparkly Green Earrings, The Antelope in the Living Room, Nobody's Cuter Than You, and Church of the Small Things. She is a class of 1993 graduate of Texas A&M and lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, Perry, and daughter, Caroline. Melanie speaks at events nationwide and writes on her blog, Big Mama. In addition to her other books, she has written 100 day devotional books for women and teen girls. Her newest book, On The Bright Side, was released on February 25, 2020, along with her first children's picture book entitled Piper and Mabel: Two Very Wild But Very Good Dogs.
Why did you choose to be an Aggie?
I knew from the first time I stepped on the A&M campus that I wanted to spend my college years there. Being an Aggie embodies all the things that are most important in life; loyalty, honesty, integrity, helping others and believing in something bigger than yourself.
How long would you last in a Zombie Apocalypse? Why?
About five seconds or until the first Zombie showed up. I have many gifts, but my survival skills regarding a Zombie apocalypse aren't among them.
What is your favorite memory as a student?
I was a Diamond Darling, and I'll never forget the night in 1991 when A&M swept the Longhorns in baseball. Olsen Field was going crazy, and we were all so excited. The celebration lasted well into the night, and it was just the embodiment of all the fun of being a college student and the pride of being an Aggie.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
To be able to teleport...travel across space and distance instantly. Mainly because I hate flying on planes. Not because I'm scared, but because I hate sitting in a small metal tube feeling trapped.
What advice do you have for current students/students about to graduate?
Enjoy every moment of your time on campus. You'll look back on these days as some of the most fun times in your life. But also know that you have so many great things waiting for you in the real world. Fill your life with action. Walk through this open door with your arms wide open. Follow your dreams, take a risk, do the thing that seems too scary. Don't wait for something to happen, but rather make your future, chart your course and find ways to make a difference.
Favorite movie quote?
"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." — Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
What is your favorite quote or mantra that you live by?
I have a mantra whenever I'm about to do something I'm unsure about - "It's either going to be a great time or a good story or both."
What were you going to be when you grew up?
My dream was always to write a book, but I'm not sure I believed that it would ever happen until it did. It still doesn't seem real sometimes. And now that I travel and speak, I'm actually using my Speech Com degree, which is a plot twist I never saw coming in the early days when I had no idea what I was going to do with it in the real world.
What is your greatest accomplishment/project you’re most proud of?
In 2016, I participated in the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) Program. At the end of the leadership program, I was honored to be selected by my classmates to serve as the commencement speaker and give the address at Little Rock Central High School – the site of one of the most significant events in the Civil Rights Movement. Luminaries in the audience included Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Former U.S. President George W. Bush, Former U.S. President William J. Clinton, and several of the Little Rock Nine. If not for the Little Rock Nine's courage to integrate our schools and our society, our racially diverse PLS class would not exist. The experience of sharing these sentiments and our PLS class memories was one of the most important moments in my life, especially since this happened one week after the police officers' shootings in Dallas.