Dante Vittor would love one day to open a rehabilitation clinic serving the sports population. As a lifelong athlete, he’s suffered his share of sports injuries and his advice for young athletes is to diversify and try various sports to prevent overuse injuries, as well as to treat their bodies properly and not overlook symptoms. Read more about Dante’s experiences as a UConn student.
What attracted you to the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources?
I was originally attracted to UConn because of their accredited Department of Kinesiology, and despite living in New York, I have always had an appreciation for the beauty of rural areas. I have also had an interest in sports and athletics, as well as human performance and health. It has been a huge part of my life for years now, and UConn’s CAHNR offers great majors for those interested in this field.
Why did you choose your major?
I have always had a passion for helping others in ways that I can, so athletic training has allowed me to intersect my desire to serve and help people with my interest in human performance, athletics and health. I also experienced many injuries in my athletic career, and I want to be able to help people in ways that I wasn’t during my athletic career.
Which one of your UConn activities, internships or jobs was the most memorable? Why?
My experience working with the UConn Football team was definitely my most memorable, as I was fully immersed in a Division 1 athletic team for the entire year and was able to use my skills to help them individually throughout the entirety of the season. I learned a lot from many intelligent and honorable people and was able to work with very talented athletes.
Name two other experiences that have enriched your studies.
My experience as an intern at Connecticut Sport and Fitness in Glastonbury helped develop my skills in rehabilitation and returning athletes to play after injury, and I worked with a very talented and smart athletic trainer who specializes in gait analysis, return to play protocols and functional exercise and movement. I also really enjoy working at Manchester High School, as I have gained in-depth knowledge on emergency care in high school athletes, specifically football. I have been a first responder on field for many serious injuries, and while it can be difficult, I enjoy being able to be a critical factor in giving these athletes the immediate care they need.
What has been the biggest challenge in your UConn career?
The biggest challenge in my UConn career has definitely been trying to get an education while caring for and being there for my family. Being from New York, it has been difficult because I am also involved in a vigorous academic program. My adopted mother just passed away from cancer, so being away from her has been difficult over the past year. But she motivates me because she was my number one fan and was always supportive of me throughout college.
When do you expect to graduate? What then?
After I graduate from UConn in May, I plan on getting my master’s in either exercise physiology or education, as I also enjoy being able to teach people about the knowledge I have gained about the human body and health science. From my experiences working at high schools, I would love the opportunity to teach high school students the things I have learned at UConn, as I think everyone could benefit from knowing more about exercise and health.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
Other than my love to work out and lead a healthy lifestyle, you can catch me listening to music all day. It is a crucial part of my daily walks to and from class, and my long drives to and from clinical every day. I also speak a little bit of Italian because my father’s side of the family immigrated from Italy. On top of this, I also love scary movies and tattoos, and I hope to be the proud dad of a pit bull one day!