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Passionate About Coaching Students Toward Academic Success

Coaching students to achieve their highest potential is incredible work, especially while learning skills to support learning challenges such as ADHD, Nonverbal Learning Disability, ASD, anxiety or dyslexia.  


My passion is supporting students as they develop skills to advocate for their learning needs and meet their academic goals.   An energizing champion of students and creative problem solver, I find great joy in coaching students toward success.

I am a life-long student who is a Valedictorian, a first-generation college student, and has earned a B.A. in Psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University, a Master's in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Thomas and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Minnesota.


I love to travel, paint, and hike! 

Professional Bio

Melissa Peterson Malen, PhD, is the owner of AxyLu Academic Coaching, LLC, co-founder of the nonprofit Focus and Learning Center, and volunteers as vice president of the Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented.


She specializes in coaching students and adults who experience performance challenges in the areas of executive function and self-regulation. Dr. Malen coaches clients that have ADHD, dyslexia, nonverbal learning disability, or are twice exceptional.


Melissa presents at conferences in the US and internationally, both in-person and virtually, and also provides professional development for teachers and counselors.


Melissa earned an MA in counseling psychology from the University of St. Thomas and a PhD in education from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Malen has researched the experience of parents of students with ADHD and is developing programs targeted at improving student underachievement.


University of Minnesota                                                          2013

Minneapolis, Minnesota                                                                 

Ph.D. in Work, Community & Family Education

Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy & Development                                                                                                                     

University of St. Thomas                                                          1994

St. Paul, Minnesota                                                                          M.A. in Counseling Psychology                                                                                                                                                   

Illinois Wesleyan University                                                     1990

Bloomington, Illinois                                                                        B.A. in Psychology, Neuroscience Research Honors  


  • Nonprofit: Experienced Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Diversity Chair, Fundraising Chair, Education Chair

  • Counseling: Student advising, academic coaching, college and career, student counseling department manager

  • Human Resources: Exerienced director, business owner, college intern supervisor, selection and recruiting

  • Business: Owner of AxyLu Consulting, L.L.C, Co-Founder Focus and Learning Center

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