A year ago, the Association for Women in Sports Media’s student chapter at Arizona State struggled to retain participation. This year, however, has brought about a revival for the chapter.
Ashley Bigley, the chapter’s president and a broadcast journalism major at ASU, said the chapter currently has 53 students involved in activities, and attributes that growth to an outreach effort that has included finding opportunities for students to interact with professionals in sports journalism, and to get on-site experience.
Prior to the school year, Bigley, chapter vice president Cori Crenshaw and chapter advisor Maggie Emmons, who is the assistant media relations director for Arizona State’s athletic department, discussed different activities the chapter could host, and emphasized the importance of planning out the year.
Phoenix International Raceway celebrated its 50th anniversary this season, and Arizona State’s AWSM student chapter had four members on-site for press conferences prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, as well as a testing session on the one-mile oval.
During the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 on Nov. 9, Bigley, Crenshaw, Caity Phaw and Nikiana Medansky assisted with race coverage, press conference events and coordinated video production for a class project that included footage from pit road, from the final lap and from victory lane at PIR.
In addition, Arizona State’s AWSM chapter hosted a panel meeting to discuss the topic of “Women In The Locker Room” with Paola Boivin, a columnist at the Arizona Republic and Sarah McLellan, an AWSM member who covers the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes for the Republic.
– Rachel Lenzi
The student chapters of AWSM have been very busy this year! Here is an update of what some of the chapters accomplished in the first semester of the year.
GEORGIA: The chapter hosted two prominent guest speakers. First, they had Rachel Baribeau, a sideline reporter for the ACC Network and the first female host for SiriusXM College Sports Nation. They also had AWSM member LaChina Robinson, who they met at a networking event in Atlanta, come speak about her job. They have partnered with other sports-related student groups to plan a networking event with the people who work for the Atlanta Hawks.
QUINNIPIAC: One of our newest chapters was very successful in their first semester up and running. The chapter co-hosted “J-Talks”, where guest speaker Armen Keteyian (60 Minutes Sports/CBS Sports senior correspondent) spent an afternoon talking to classes then did an informal hour-long sit-down with the members. The chapter has held two fundraisers and one social gathering to watch some football before finals.
Chapter president Mary Rose Bevin and vice president Taylor Morrison became what is believed to be the first all-female broadcast team to call a college hockey game when they were on the call Oct. 18 for a Quinnipiac women’s hockey game against Maine. The feat was mentioned in the New Haven Register.
Bevin and Morrison have called women’s hockey games, but have not been paired together again. We are waiting for more! Given their proximity to NBC Sports and ESPN, they invite any AWSM members working or visiting to join them for an afternoon or evening.
OKLAHOMA STATE: The chapter has had five meetings with an average attendance of 25 people. They added more than 30 memberships online. Each meeting featured a guest speaker and theme, including social media/branding with Kevin Deshazo, the founder of Fieldhouse Media; broadcasting professionals with Sam Gannon, a sportscaster at KOKH Fox 25 in Oklahoma City; as well as a resume and internship workshop, and workshops with print professionals and sports production.
MICHIGAN STATE: Michigan State’s chapter held a charity drive in which it raised money for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence during domestic violence awareness month in October. MSU also hosted guest speakers Rachel Schwartz, the social media and digital content coordinator for USA Hockey, and women’s empowerment leader Anne Doyle. The chapter watched a special taping of “Current Sports with Al Martin” featuring Spartan alum and ESPN personality Jemele Hill – and even met her afterwards!
Michigan State attended a sports communication panel and a Detroit Pistons game at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Members traveled to Ann Arbor to hear Andrea Joyce, a sportscaster with NBC Sports, speak at the University of Michigan’s AWSM meeting. The chapter also created Christmas cards for children at Sparrow Hospital and watched The Bad Boys 30 for 30 during sports movie night.
JAMES MADISON: This new chapter kicked things off right away! In its first meeting, it had 40 people in attendance. In October, the chapter co-sponsored a tailgate for a women’s soccer game in an effort to celebrate the 25-year anniversary and break the attendance record. In November, it brought in guest speaker Katie Windham, an event producer for Daktronics and JMU football, who spoke about her backgrounds and how she makes video boards.
– Kelli Grashel