Melynda (Lynde) Thelen was born in Brookings South Dakota but raised in Lincoln Nebraska. During her four years at Pius X high school, she was honored to participate on the cross country, basketball, and track teams. She graduated from Pius X high school in 1992 and during her junior year was recruited to the South Dakota State University (SDSU) track team.
At SDSU she majored in nursing and her track events included high jump, triple jump, pentathlon, and the heptathlon. She graduated from SDSU in 1997 with a nursing degree, multiple conference awards, SDSU triple jump record, and an All American in the triple jump.
In 2006, she earned her Master of Science in Nursing at Nebraska Wesleyan University and currently is working on her Ph.D. in Nursing Science at SDSU. Lynde lives in Sioux Falls SD with her three children, Thomas (22 years), Avery (20 years), and Victoria (18 years). During the school year, she is a nursing professor at the University of Sioux Falls (USF). In the summer she is a CAE Healthcare clinical nurse educator and travels all over the United States teaching medical faculty of any specialty on how to incorporate human simulation into their curriculum.
Much of her accomplishments, organizational skills, and work ethics stem from the guidance provided by her parents, her coaches, and the foundation she received from Pius X high school academics and athletics.