AWSM@OSU welcomed ESPN’s Jemele Hill as its annual keynote speaker on Feb. 29. Hill, co-host of a weekday talk show ‘His & Hers’, started her visit with a tour of the Oklahoma State athletic facilities and a sit down interview with OStateTV, OSU’s video department.
Before her afternoon speech on campus, Hill had lunch with Oklahoma State faculty members and held a workshop for the university AWSM student members, students in sports media club and the student chapter of Associated Press Sports Editors.
“What matters the most is you perfecting your ability,” Hill said. “The goal isn’t to be at ESPN. The goal is to be a good journalist.”
Hill gave the student groups a hypothetical situation of a lockdown on a college campus and she walked them through the process of reporting on breaking news.
Hill emphasized her reporting skills as the reason for her success in the industry. She stressed sticking to the basics even in the era of technology and social media: gathering information, providing context and developing sources.
Hill was a hit in her afternoon public speech at Little Theater in the university student union. The scheduled one-hour appearance ran nearly 90 minutes as Hill was questioned about various issues in sports, politics and culture. Students and faculty were intrigued by the down-to-earth journalist and television host and her experiences and perspective.
“Jemele provided me with a unique perspective into the sports media,” AWSM@OSU freshman Addison Skaggs said. “She explained the value of finding opportunities to challenge and expand your personal skills. I gained a deeper understanding of what it takes to be successful in this industry in addition to being highly entertained.”
– Courtney Brown
JAMES MADISON: Members discuss issues in sports
The AWSM @ James Madison chapter held a discussion at its Feb. 22 meeting on how the media portray issues with athletes away from the sports venue. The group watched a segment from the documentary ‘The Hunting Ground’ that focused on coverage of the sexual assault allegations against former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.
Further discussion followed on an article by Paula Lavigne of ESPN calling out colleges for giving special treatment to athletes who have been convicted of crimes. The JMU members shared their opinions and talked about how they might change the way these topics are framed when they begin professional careers.
The meeting concluded by switching gears with member Joe Kuykendall introducing a book he read called ‘This is Your Brain on Sports.’ Kuykendall recommended the book and read the names of the book’s chapters which were dedicated to specific areas of a psychological principle as related to sports.
The topics mentioned from the book included why people love free t-shirts, and why a fan takes as much pleasure in watching a disliked team lose as in seeing your team win. Kuykendall read passages aloud and the members discussed the psychology applied and how it affected their own lives.
– Catherine Policastro
GEORGIA: Olympic panel offers fascinating lessons
AWSM @ Georgia attended the “Looking Back at the Atlanta Olympics” event held Feb. 19 at the Metro Atlanta Chamber in Atlanta.
Briana Scurry, the goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s soccer team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, was the event’s keynote speaker. Scurry was vibrant and inspiring, and she talked about setting a goal and working toward it.
Scurry said a goal doesn’t have to be competing in the Olympics, but it’s important to have a goal.
“Not being able to come through the front door, doesn’t mean you can’t go through the window,” Scurry said.
Overall the event was insightful and the networking provided was, as it always is, very beneficial.
– Ann Drinkard
MISSOURI: Chapter leads push for women in journalism
Rachel Kilmer, who was AWSM@Mizzou’s co-founder and first president in 2013, joined us at a recent meeting, talked with students and gave advice on navigating Missouri’s journalism school. Rachel is a sports reporter and anchor for KAKE-TV in Wichita, Kansas.
AWSM at Missouri also participated in an online campaign initiated by campus journalism organization Women in Media. Women in Media started a social media campaign called #MyVoiceBC – My Voice Because – to celebrate and promote the importance of diverse voices in journalism. A link with more information on the campaign is available here: http://www.mizzouwim.com/2016/02/01/our-voices-matter/
AWSM@Missouri tried to come up with ideas for the campaign and focused on the importance of having women’s voices in the sports journalism industry. Members talked about how women can offer a unique perspective and that we have more offer than just our looks. This led to our final statement: “Journalism needs our voices because our knowledge is worth more than just a pretty face.” #MyVoiceBC
– Hannah Husmann
OREGON: Chapter expands membership and reach
After a successful first year as an AWSM chapter, we have expanded our reach in the 2015-16 school year through our campus presence and membership growth. We have added over 50 new members to our contact list, and have 17 dues-paying members. We also have more than 150 Twitter followers and more than 70 Facebook likes, and have appointed board members to maintain our social media profiles.
Our most exciting achievement is our website, which went live a little more than a month ago:
The site gives members and interested students a glimpse of what our chapter does, and serves as a great opportunity for new board members to get involved by publishing bi-weekly posts and meeting or event recaps. We also use this platform to promote our members’ work samples and highlight the achievements of our alumni.
Oregon’s AWSM chapter also has variety of speakers, including ESPN’s Chantel Jennings, Arizona Republic columnist Paola Boivin, and Stef Loh from the Seattle Times. We also had a sports broadcasting panel with two local sports reporters from Eugene, Kristen Rogers from KEZI and Preston Hiefield, an Oregon graduate from KVAL.
– Jesse Dieffenbach