Melanie Austin (B.S. ’00) is NYIT’s new Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR). Austin, who specializes in health promotion, behavioral health, and leadership, already wears a number of hats at NYIT: She is assistant professor of occupational therapy at NYIT School of Health Professions, admissions coordinator for the Department of Occupational Therapy, and a faculty associate at the Center for Sports Medicine. Her research focuses on healthy lifestyle behaviors for youth, women, and student-athletes.
Now, she will also serve as a liaison between the university and the athletics department and be NYIT’s representative in East Coast Conference and NCAA affairs. As FAR, she will serve the greater community by providing community-based wellness and empowerment seminars for women and youth.
The role is a natural fit for Austin. When she was a student at NYIT, she did track and field and was an NCAA All-American
“The FAR is a very important position, and I am glad that Melanie Austin is willing to take on this role for NYIT,” said NYIT President Hank Foley. “As a former student-athlete, she brings a special perspective to this work.”
Austin earned a post professional doctorate in occupational therapy at Temple University, and a master’s in public administration at Baruch College. But it was at NYIT where she got her start, earning a bachelor of science degree in occupational therapy. And it was here where she shined as a track and field athlete. Austin was an NCAA All-American in the 4x400-meter relay and was inducted into the NYIT Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008 for her community leadership and former athletic achievements.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to represent the NYIT Department of Athletics,” Austin said. “I look forward to collaborating with our NYIT community and the NCAA in fostering a healthy and supportive environment for our student-athletes.”
“Melanie Austin’s expertise and passion for excellence make her an outstanding choice for FAR,” said Daniel Vélez Ortiz, interim director of Athletics. “Her experiences…give her an inside look at what the student-athlete experiences on a daily basis. I have no doubt that having her in this role will be a tremendous asset to NYIT.”
By Adam Rubin