Unofficial Rugby Star Hustles into Family Therapy

by Rob Brown

Staff Writer

Originally published Nov. 15 2018

Anthony Mielke is a Minnesota native, growing up in a rural farming community 60 miles west of Minneapolis. From a family of 8, he isthe oldest of 6 children. Mielke got his undergrad in philosophy in St. Paul, Minnesota at the University of St. Thomas.

After his undergraduate degree, Mielke got his mastersin family therapy from St. Mary’s University in Minnesota, and later his doctorate in family therapy from Argosy University. He started working at Mount Mercy University in August of 2018, as an Assistant Professor for the Marriage & Family Therapy graduate program. Mielke is currently married and has three kids; two daughters and one son.

During his time at St. Thomas, he was part of a non-affiliated rugby club.

“I played football in high school, I didn’t want to play football at the University, but still missed playing sports, a friend of a friend said he was starting a team, so I got involved in building a rugby team over my four years there, I had never played rugby before, it was a ton of fun though,” said Mielke.

Mielke played division III schools as a rugby club team, until they won their region and were bumped into division II. Mielke and his team won a national championship in the Men’s Rugby Club Team.

“We played for the national title, I’m not sure if it was actually, it was on some city parks in Chicago and I think the trophy was a party city trophy, but we won, we played teams from Pennsylvania, Nebraska,Wisconsin and maybe Montana, it ended up being really cool,” said Mielke.

He still enjoys rugby today, he really wants to teach rugby in the future, whether that be for his kids or coach the younger generations how to play rugby.

After completing his undergrad, Mielke worked full-time through his next two degrees building a clinical practice, he is a licensed family therapist, which he has been doing full-time until accepting his position at MMU, now he works part-time at his clinical practice and full-time as an associate professor.

He’s also provided in-home mental health service for low income and underprivileged people and families as well as outpatient work,middle and high school therapist, and most recently he worked in a day treatment program and as an adjunct at a couple universities.

Mielke hopes to make a difference at Mount Mercy, with his knowledge and understanding of family therapy.

“I’m hoping to bring the unique perspective of systems theory, which is the foundation of family therapy to prepare leaders in mental health agencies and leaders for the field in general as advocates with a holistic vision to help bolster the health of the field in general and advocate for the ideas that family therapy represents for the community,” said Mielke.

Mielke is part of AAMFT or The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, which is a national organization where family therapists volunteer to advocate for legislative action for the states or nation.

The AAMFT recently started a program called the Family Team, Mielke is currently the Family Team representative for Iowa.


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