In Focus: Michael Doria, Jr
Tell us about your background and what led you to be interested in the field of Sports Science.
I was an athlete my entire life. Prior to pursuing my graduate degree, I was a collegiate wrestler for Hofstra University and a national level Judo player. I began coaching wrestling at the high school level once I was done competing. I realized that if I wanted to be an effective coach, I needed to have a formal education in the sports science field.
What attracted you to Hofstra University’s MS in Sports Science program?
I was volunteering with Hofstra University’s Strength and Conditioning program when I found out about the MS in Sports Science program from the coach. I applied to the program immediately.
Describe your experience working and studying with faculty in the Department of Health Professions.
Working with the faculty was a great experience. Dr. Katie Sell and Dr. Jamie Ghigiarelli were extremely helpful during my time in the program. They both prepared me for the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam, which is a gold standard in the field. I passed the exam on the first try. The faculty not only teach the scientific content of the field, but also provide guidance in preparation to be professionals in the field after graduation.
How did the program prepare you for employment?
The program provided me with the scientific background to be able to be a science educator, along with the knowledge to effectively coach athletics. The program was a stepping-stone to my career path. During my time in the program, I interned with Hofstra University’s Strength and Conditioning program, along with coaching both wrestling and weight training at a local high school. I realized that working with high school students was my passion. I wanted to be able to coach athletics and be a high school educator. With the current need for STEM teachers in our educational system, I realized I could apply my science background to become a NYS certified biology teacher. Currently, I am a Biology teacher and wrestling coach in the NYC school system.
What is your advice for prospective students looking for a degree in health?
The best advice I can give students looking for a degree in health is to intern in a variety of health-related settings. Many health degrees are science based. Currently, there is a need for competent scientific thinkers in the work field. Keep an open mind and apply the degree to your desired career setting.