Melissa Skyer named to RIT/NTID faculty

Melissa Skyer with glasses and floral black and white print top.

Melissa Skyer of Rochester, New York, has joined the faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf and is teaching in the NTID Science and Mathematics Department.

Skyer, who has more than 10 years of environmental science field experience, developed and teaches “Scientific Basis of Social Responsibility”—an original class focused on environmental science. She also tutors several science classes, including, among others, human biology, evolutionary biology, ecology and soil science. 

She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in RIT’s College of Science with highest honors. Her graduate research focused on river otters in the Genesee River watershed, and she hopes to get back to wildlife research this summer.

Skyer is both a CODA (child of deaf adults) and a late-deafened individual, who grew up in Rochester. She has lived and worked in Chicago and Los Angeles, and returned to Rochester in January 2015.

While employed at the Southern California Gas Company in Los Angeles, Skyer was one of only five individuals, among the company’s 10,000 employees, to receive the Diversity Innovation Award. She developed a sign language safety program for hearing construction workers. In noisy environments with heavy equipment or earplugs, these employees now are able to communicate with sign language and perform more safely at work.

In her free, time Skyer enjoys writing, cooking and hiking. Her second book of art and poetry, “Train Gone, Sorry,” recently was accepted to the Rochester Central Library Self-Published book festival. Only 30 entries from more than 120 were accepted.

“We are pleased to have Melissa back at RIT/NTID as a member of our faculty,” said Dr. Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “She is an outstanding example of all that is possible with an RIT/NTID education, and is a true role model for our students.”