Michael Schneider Associate Director of Counseling and Wellness Office: Counseling and Wellness Center Campus: Manhattan
Member of NYIT Since: 2008
A bachelor’s degree in educational psychology and a master’s degree in social work, coupled with several years of professional experience in crisis intervention and conflict resolution, have prepared Michael Schneider for a challenging but highly rewarding role at NYIT. As associate director of the Manhattan campus Counseling and Wellness Center, Michael works with colleagues to provide NYIT students with the tools and resources to ensure their safety, well-being, and academic success within our diverse campus community. His responsibilities include individual and group counseling, facilitating outside referrals, developing and conducting wellness events, and supervising the online alcohol educational program, as well as teaching classes in the First-Year Experience.
Prior to joining NYIT, Michael worked for a foster care agency, served as the assistant principal/dean of students in the Valhalla, N.Y., School District, and was a tutor for children in “failing” New York City schools. This athlete and self-described “sports maniac” has also served as a high school basketball and soccer coach. He sees himself as a “teacher, mentor, and role model.” As students grapple with competing demands and pressures and inevitable life transitions, Michael says his No. 1 priority is to help them find a healthy balance.
1. What are some of the services the Counseling and Wellness Center provides?
The center coordinates all student mental health, disability, immunization, and health insurance services. We provide a holistic approach to wellness education through a variety of programs and outreach activities, such as yoga classes and workshops on nutrition, building healthy relationships, and dealing with stress. The message we want to impart to students – particularly in light of recent headlines – is that it is OK to reach out for help.
2. Can faculty and staff members utilize the center’s resources?
While counseling services are solely for NYIT students, faculty and staff are invited to join us at many of our wellness programs throughout the year. We hope colleagues will take advantage of our smoking cessation workshops and join us at our annual health fair on April 15. It’s also important to note that faculty and staff are often the first point of contact with students and play an invaluable role in assisting those who may be struggling.
3. Describe NYIT’s CHOICES and BASICS programs.
CHOICES is a workshop where students use journals to reflect on both their individual and peers’ choices about alcohol. BASICS uses motivational interviewing in a one-on-one setting to help students address their harmful behaviors.
4. Favorite books/movies?
I like to read murder and forensic mysteries. I also enjoy watching movies – my two favorite are Hoosiers and Usual Suspects.
5. How do you relax?
There is nothing more I would rather do than go fishing. Sitting in my canoe as the sun goes down and the water becomes completely still is my therapy.