Spartan Sports Journalism Classic Returns April 10 to Highlight Alumni, Students

Posted on: March 11, 2014

Lacy-Stephen-webAs sports fans begin to think about their March Madness brackets, alumni, faculty, staff and students are busy preparing for the Second Annual Spartan Sports Journalism Classic.

This year's Spartan Sports Journalism Classic is scheduled for Thursday, April 10. MSU Athletics Hall of Famer, NBA All-Star, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist and NBA TV sports analyst Steve Smith has agreed to co-host this special event with me.

The Spartan Sports Journalism Classic is an opportunity for our former students to give back to their college and university by participating in a daylong event to connect alumni with students for networking, sharing career experiences and mentoring.

As was the case at last year's inaugural event, the CAS hallways will be filled with some of the biggest names in sports journalism. There will be guest talks in classrooms, speed coaching and a panel discussion about covering the Olympic games. The panel will include Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, Jo-Ann Barnas, former Detroit Free Press sportswriter, and others.

SSJC Homepage 2014-02The Spartan Sports Journalism Classic is just one activity connected with our sports journalism program, which has produced some of the best in the business. Our alumni work in a variety of positions at the most highly recognized organizations imaginable, such as ESPN, CBS Sports, the Big Ten Network, FOX Sports, Major League Baseball, the NBA, and a variety of other national sports media organizations.

In addition to traveling all over the country and around the world, our sports journalism alumni also keep us up-to-date with Michigan sports. Journalism graduate Al Martin shares his passion for sports on WKAR's "Current Sports," alumnus Bill Emkow serves as director of Sports News at MLive, alumnus Joe Rexrode is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press and Lynn Henning covers sports for The Detroit News.

Our alumni success is a tribute to the School of Journalism's sports journalism program, which has all the ingredients for a winning team, including:

  • Experienced, professional faculty who have worked in the industry;
  • Motivated students who are winning state to national awards and making great impressions on their internship supervisors and employers;
  • Caring alumni who regularly come back to campus to talk with students about the industry.

L.A. Dickerson, School of Journalism alumna and national award-winning reporter, teaches many of the sports journalism classes along with Professor Sue Carter, a sports broadcaster and former press secretary for Michigan Governor Jim Blanchard.

"Our program has become successful because of the jobs and internships our students have acquired. Our grads are working in amazing places, and best of all, they give back to our J-School. Their guidance and networking makes all the difference for our students," Dickerson said.

Students interested in this year's Spartan Sports Journalism Classic speed coaching, should apply to participate by sending a resume to Dickerson at by the end of the day on Friday, March 14.

More details on the Spartan Sports Journalism Classic will be posted to the CAS website as information becomes available.

At last year's event, many of our students made valuable connections that resulted in jobs and internships. You can read about one of those success stories in this week's Student Spotlight article, featuring journalism major Riley Thyfault, who explains that she was hired for her internship with "The Drive with Jack Ebling" and "Press Pass with Jack Ebling" due to her networking at the Spartan Sports Journalism Classic.

The reputation of the MSU sports program was demonstrated last fall when ESPN representatives came to CAS on a recruiting visit. They came because of the talented CAS graduates who already have jobs and internships at ESPN. Journalism student Santiago Montiel was hired for an internship at ESPN as a result of that visit. ESPN says it would like to make it an annual trip, and we look forward to that connection.

Whether you watch, listen or read about this year's NCAA Tournament, the Major League Baseball season, or Michigan high school basketball, the odds are good that a CAS alum will be reporting the news to you. Our sports journalism program will keep that ball rolling.

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