Florida Tech Scholar-Athlete Spotlight Recognizes Volleyball Player Kayla Mastin
By Jerry Durney, Florida Tech News Bureau // October 9, 2022
Mastin is majoring in mathematical science
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field.
In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, we are featuring Panther volleyball player Kayla Mastin, a senior who is majoring in mathematical science.
A middle blocker from Canajoharie, New York, Mastin has been a fixture in the Tech lineup during her time in Melbourne with 161 kills, 131 total blocks (29 solo) and 25 digs for her career.
Kayla has been named to the Sunshine State Conference Commissioner’s and Florida Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll twice during her time in the Crimson and Gray.
In the midst of her last season wearing the Crimson and Gray, we sat down with Kayla to talk about her journey not just with Panther volleyball but her educational journey which has seen her switch paths with a new career destination in sight.
■ What’s your major at Florida Tech and why did you choose this? Is it something that you’ve always wanted to do?
I’m studying biomedical engineering and it wasn’t my first choice; When I came here, I was actually a mathematical science major, but (during) my freshman year I learned that I did miss that science aspect of math and science.
So, I wanted to do something that included both, so that’s why I chose biomedical engineering
■ Having grown up in upstate New York, what was it about Florida Tech that drew you here?
Weather, being near the beach was a big aspect (laughs) but also when I was reading through the programs, biomedical engineering was also in the back of my head when I was looking at schools.
So Florida Tech was one of the few schools that offered it and it just looked amazing for the program that I wanted to be in.
■ How do you plan to use your degree after graduation?
I’m in the process right now of applying to vet school. So, I’m hoping to use my biomedical engineering background and have more information about technology that will help me further my process in vet school.
■ What are some of the exciting projects that you’ve been able to work on in classes here?
Right now, I’m actually in my senior design aspect of my engineering degree. So I am working on my electro sense senior line project where we have to make a mattress and use all these types of circuits, which I’m hoping is going to help me further my education, like medical imaging, and getting more background technology-wise.
So, I’m hoping that will help me to apply to vet school and then also in my medical imaging class this semester, I’m actually getting to do a research project on medical imaging with MRIs and CT scans for horse lameness, and I’m hoping I can propose that project in vet school if I do get into vet school.
■ So, you had an idea of what you wanted to do, education-wise, when you got here to Florida Tech but have you been even more surprised by all the things that you’ve been able to do here? You talked about some of those projects and some of the different things that you’re looking at now, has there been even more than you expected?
Honestly, yes, because in high school, I didn’t really get to do a lot of hands-on things with science and math. But here, when I switched my major to biomedical engineering, everything has been hands-on, the labs are always hands-on.
And I really enjoy that because I’m a hands-on learner. So just like being hands-on in the lab, getting to talk to professors one-on-one has really helped me further my education.
■ How has being a collegiate athlete prepared you for what you’re doing now and what do you take from the court that you apply to your studies?
Definitely leadership and communication skills. What I’ve learned from playing volleyball is that communication is always needed in every scenario.
If you don’t communicate well, your project is going to fail. On the court, if you don’t communicate, well, we’re not we’re not going to win the point. So that has been a central key.
I need to be able to communicate with people, I need to get my point across so our project doesn’t fail and I can keep moving forward and just being a leader, just being upfront with everyone working well together as a group. Communication has been a central component of being on the court and off the court.
You’re the lone fourth-year senior on the team, you’ve seen so much during your time with the volleyball program, including a mini-turnaround going on this year. What are some of the memories you’ve made during your time at Tech that you treasure the most?
Definitely all the girls I’ve met throughout the years. I miss so many of my teammates in the past dearly. All the road trips, all the hotel memories that when we get to the hotel when we just goof around.
The road trips have always been memorable. Every other year, we go to Alabama and that trip’s always so much fun because we always end up getting there and we just have a blast. Going all out on the court because why not?
This year too, might as well go off because it’s my last year. The turnaround, it’s been amazing.
We’re trying to change the culture, too and the turnaround from the previous two years to these past years has completely changed and I’m very grateful for that.
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS