Avila Now

April 8, 2022

Q&A: Joseph Grindstaff, MSK ’19

Joseph Grindstaff, MSK '19
Joseph Grindstaff.

Joseph Grindstaff was a non-traditional student working as an Assistant Personal Training Director with several years of experience in the field and specialty certifications. “When I found Avila’s Kinesiology program it was like a stroke of good luck,” said Grindstaff. 

Grindstaff graduated from Avila University in 2019 with a Master of Science in Kinesiology. He is also an independent personal trainer in Kansas City and served as a personal training adjunct instructor for the Avila Kinesiology program.

Why was Avila and the Master’s of Science in Kinesiology program the right fit for you?

Dr. Larson listened to my interests and goals. He met me where I was in my professional development and arranged for me to take an upper-level Exercise Physiology class. It was such a great class that I took an upper-level Stress Physiology class the following semester. I was hooked. I wanted to learn more and enrolled full-time in the undergraduate program. When the master’s degree was added to the curriculum during my senior year it was a “no brainer” for me to continue in the graduate program.

How did Avila prepare you for your career?

Since I was already working in the field, I had a point of reference to notice that the master’s degree almost immediately gave me more professional credibility among prospective clients and with other professionals. The things I learned during the program helped qualify and differentiate me from others in the field of Kinesiology.  For example, learning to read and understand research improved my critical thinking.  This boosted my confidence to strategically figure things out.

What professional goals do you have for the future, and how is your Avila education preparing you to pursue these goals?

I would like to open a mind-body-oriented wellness-fitness facility with my wife, who earned her MSCP (Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology) degree from Avila University. She would facilitate the psychological programming, and I would facilitate the wellness-fitness programming. My Avila education has developed my professional knowledge, and strategic thinking, and given me a vehicle to explore my entrepreneurial ideas. One of the things I liked most was the opportunity to interact with and get to know my classmates who shared common interests and goals.

Who at Avila did you form an inspired relationship with, and how did they assist you?

I developed a good relationship with Dr. Larson. I was very surprised about how accessible he was with all the work he was doing throughout the program. Once I realized how willing he was to talk with students I began approaching him regularly with all types of questions. 

I also appreciated Coach “C” (Brian Ciolek) who challenged my thinking about commonly held personal training beliefs.

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