Melissa Minniti, BS, 2017 graduate of Movement Science
My degree in Kinesiology prepared me significantly for Physical Therapy school and provided a solid foundation on the concepts of biomechanics, exercise science, anatomy and physiology.
Melissa’s time at Penn State was always filled with new adventures and opportunities. From representing the University on the tennis court to participating in Kinesiology club events to hanging out with friends, there was never a dull moment. She had the opportunity to serve in multiple leadership roles in the department which allowed her to connect with students, faculty, and staff in meaningful ways in and out of the classroom. These opportunities sparked her desire to stay involved in the program long past graduation. Melissa now serves as the President of the Kinesiology Affiliate Program Group (APG) which enables her to mentor current students and network them to alumni in their area and stay connected to the department.
During her time at Penn State, Melissa spent many hours performing research in the biomechanics lab which became the focus of her Schreyer Honors Thesis. These hours gave her valuable research experience. Her time as a varsity and club student athlete gave her a whole different perspective of college life and taught her to make the most of every moment whether in a lab, on the court, or relaxing with friends.
A degree in Kinesiology prepared Melissa significantly for PT school and provided her with a solid foundation on the concepts of biomechanics, exercise science, and anatomy and physiology which allowed her to further develop in graduate school. It also provided her multiple experiences to explore different career fields and solidify her passion for physical therapy for which she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Duke University in 2020. Attending Penn State also gave her meaningful connections with alumni in various healthcare fields and enabled her to collaborate with others to serve the greater community.
Melissa has many fond memories of her time in Happy Valley. One of her favorites is attending The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health and Fitness Summit conferences with her fellow classmates and faculty members Lori Gravish Hurtack, Michelle Duffey, and Stacey Nowicki. These events provided Melissa with her first exposure to networking and it was a fun way to integrate the knowledge from the classroom and begin to learn real-world applications as well as meet experts in the field.
Currently, Melissa is a Physical Therapist, PT, DPT, at the James A Haley VA in Tampa, FL. She is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Specialist in Physical Therapy and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Her passion is working with veterans helping them alleviate their chronic pain from their service to their country. Melissa is grateful to the many individuals at Penn State that peaked her interest in working with adaptive athletes and the Veteran population.
The Kinesiology department appreciates all the work Melissa does connecting current students and alumni with the resources they need to succeed. She speaks at many of our round tables and organizes many events for alumni. Thank you Melissa!!