Fitness professional, coach, and adjunct professor Joseph Grillo is pursuing his Doctor of Education degree in sports management from the United States Sports Academy. The institution’s latest Student of the Month, Grillo plans to use his degree to become a full-time college professor and grow his personal fitness business.

A resident of Brooklyn, N.Y., Grillo has worked as an adjunct professor at Kingsborough Community College and personal trainer at Demi Gods Fitness. He said the Academy’s flexible scheduling options have helped him progress through the doctoral program while working full time – especially in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged his community in New York.

“The program allows me to complete it at my own pace, and this was even more evident during the high Covid-19 cases here in New York City,” Grillo said. “Once I achieve the dream of graduating, it will allow me to obtain a full time professor position in the fields that I am most passionate about. Also, this degree can give even more validity to my business as a fitness professional and allow us to grow exponentially.”

A five-sport athlete as a child, Grillo played baseball while pursuing his associate’s degree in physical education and fitness at Kingsborough Community College. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and a master’s degree in health and fitness education from CUNY Brooklyn College.

“Sports has been a way of life for me since before walking,” Grillo said. “I have been active my entire life and have played everything and most at pretty high levels. I believe with so many more children staying inside and not having physical and social interactions through competitive sports or any athletic activities, many important life lessons are missed. Sports have taught me and so many others how to deal with both the glory of winning and the lows of losing. It’s important to understand that life is hard sometimes, but a positive mindset is very important and I obtained that through sports.”

For Grillo, working in personal fitness is a way to connect with clients and create a meaningful impact in their lives.

“Being a fitness professional allows me to truly help others by helping them achieve their goals, while also helping them be healthier,” he said. “The bond with the clients are all one of a kind and it’s a blessing to have such dedicated individuals training with us.”