Temple professor balances teaching with unique side hustles

Raymond Smeriglio instructs cycling, teaches a professional development course and helps with branding for Saxbys.

Raymond Smeriglio loves that his life brings something new every day.

“I would go crazy if I did the same thing over and over again every single day,” Smeriglio said. “I’ve never been a person that just does one thing all the time.”

The adjunct professor and 2015 public relations graduate teaches a night class, heads the experiential learning partnerships at Saxbys and instructs cycling at Revel Ride, a studio located on South Street near 17th Street. As a person with many interests, Smeriglio said he chose multiple occupations to keep his work schedule new and exciting, avoiding the repetition of a nine-to-five.

“I like to kind of stick my hands in a lot of different areas and that just helps you build your network so if I need to make a move, those jobs can help support other roles,”  Smeriglio said.

His position at Saxbys, which he began on April 15, is the most traditional job he holds: he goes into an office every day to expand Saxbys brand on college campuses.

Smeriglio said all of his positions require good public speaking skills. As a professor, Smeriglio lectures to engage with students and ends the semester with mock interviews in front of the class. And as a cycling instructor, his directions must connect with the cyclists and create a comfortable environment.

“You’ve got to bring your energy, you have to get in peoples faces and be motivational,” said Smeriglio. “But you also have to be able to meet people where they are. There are veteran spinners who do this three or four times a week, but there are also people who are brand new.”

In his professional development class, Smeriglio encourages students to come by the studio, giving them the chance to see him not in front of a whiteboard, but sweating on a stationary bike.

“I don’t exactly wear a true professor hat when I teach, I like to keep it real with my students, for sure,” Smeriglio said.

Smeriglio started out teaching cycling classes at Temple and now instructs at Revel Ride three times a week. Jamie Promislos, owner of the studio,said Smeriglios’s outgoing personality shined in his interview, which is a specific trait she looks for in new hires.

“They’re basically putting on a show,” Promislos said. “No one really wants to work out, so the way that they’re able to make people feel like they actually want to come [and workout] is by their personality and the connections that they build.”

“He’s got one of the greatest personalities of anyone I’ve ever met,” Promislos added.

Scott Gratson, director of Klein College undergraduate studies, has “been in the same circles” with Smeriglio since the cycling instructor was an undergrad at Temple. Gratson thinks Smeriglio’s success as a teacher is a result of his energy and connection with his students, just like his cycling classes.

“The fact that he can draw students in, the fact that he treats his students as professionals and developing, growing people is great,” said Gratson.

While Smeriglio enjoys staying busy, he said the best part of all the jobs are the people he’s met along the way.

“Being involved in a lot of things introduced me to a lot of great people, whether it’s college presidents, major donors to universities, partners at law firms, entrepreneurs,” Smeriglio said. ”I think it’s a really fantastic thing just to get to know people because the more people you know, the more you can learn from others.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version misreported Raymond Smeriglio’s graduation year. He graduated in 2015.

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