Melissa Skyer (1982 - 2022) was an NTID professor in the Science Department where she taught environmental science classes. She was a creative and talented artist and poet, as well as a professor. This guide includes some information about her life and work.
Melissa lived with Neurofibromatosis, Type 2 (NF2), and died as a result of it. Melissa was trilingual (English, Spanish, and ASL). She signed all her life and was raised in a deaf family, including her deaf parents: her mother, Solange, a retired NTID counselor, and her father (deceased), who worked as a chemist for Kodak. Her brother, Michael (PhD), now teaches at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is also a former professor of NTID.
From the Democrat and Chronicle obituary: "Melissa was a consummate environmentalist, glass mosaic artist, and writer of poetry and creative nonfiction. Melissa graduated from Gates-Chili High School (2000). She earned a Bachelor of Science degree (Biology, Psychology, 2004), and a Master of Environmental Science degree (2006). Both degrees were from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Her graduate thesis documented the lives of river otters from the western Genesee River basin (including wetlands, watersheds, and Black and Oatka Creeks). Melissa was a board member of the Genesee River Watch. She was affiliated with the Association for Late Deafened Adults (ALDA) and was a science faculty member at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), one of the nine colleges of RIT."
If interested in making donations, there is an NTID scholarship fund in her name. Donations may be sent to the NTID President's Office. Checks made out to "NTID/RIT" should be sent to 52 Lomb Memorial Dr. Rochester, NY 14623. Please include "Melissa Skyer Memorial Fund" on the memo line.