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Dietitian and Certified Athletic Trainer leave NYUAD

Since the NYUAD Dietitian and Certified Athletic Trainer left their positions during this academic year, no replacements have yet been announced.

Apr 7, 2018

NYU Abu Dhabi’s Dietitian and Certified Athletic Trainer have left their positions in Health and Wellness and Athletics during this academic year. The reasons for the departures of these specialized staff have not been publicly announced and their respective duties are being filled by other staff members in the interim.
Maddy Leriti, NYUAD’s Licensed Clinical Dietitian, left in Nov. 2017. According to Marko Mladenovic, Director of the Fitness and Wellness Department, Leriti left for personal reasons.
“She had been in the UAE for seven or eight years and she decided to go back to the U.K,” said Mladenovic.
Leriti’s duties were split between creating programs in collaboration with ADNH Compass, consulting the student body on matters of nutrition and creating educational materials, concerning healthy eating and cooking at NYUAD. The dietitian reports to both the Health and Wellness Center and the Fitness and Wellness Department. Although the university has been searching for a replacement since December, there is no set date for when a new dietitian will be announced.
“The UAE has introduced additional security checks, especially for international people,” said Mladenovic. “We have drilled it down to three final candidates now, then Health and Wellness has to interview them. There has to be some student input as well. After that, we will make a final call.”
In the meantime, the role remains vacant, but many of the position’s responsibilities are divided among other staff members.
“Fitness and Wellness coaches are qualified to give basic nutritional advice…[on] what’s healthy, and what’s not healthy,” said Mladenovic. “If it comes to more serious [issues] … as in eating disorders, we have counselors in Health and Wellness.”
Karly Melnyk, NYUAD’s Certified Athletic Trainer, left at the start of spring 2018. Her responsibilities included rehabilitation and care for intercollegiate athletes, administrative work for the Athletics Department and concussion testing for athletes, a mandatory prerequisite for students intending to participate in intercollegiate sports at NYUAD. Peter Dicce, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Athletics, said Athletics is working in collaboration with Health and Wellness to fill the vacancy.
“If we can bring in one person that brings benefit that’s cross-departmental, that is our intent. We’re looking at a variety of options … to get the right person who can bring the greatest benefit to the intercollegiate athletes and … to the rest of the student population,” said Dicce.
Dicce says other staff are qualified to conduct concussion testing in the trainer’s absence.
“The neurocognitive testing is electronically based, that can be administered by other people,” said Dicce. “Everybody is first-aid certified … and there’s some people [in the Health and Wellness Center] who can help put athletes through the [needed] protocol.”
“Is there a gap? Yes, but I think from the outside, the gap’s nowhere near as wide as it may be perceived,” said Dicce when asked how Melnyk’s departure will affect the student body.
NYUAD will have to wait further for these vacancies to be filled, but students can rest assured that the duties of the dietitian and athletic trainer are being carried out by other staff members.
Tracy Vavrova is Copy Editor. Email her at
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