News: Spartan Sports Journalism Classic 2013 to feature best in field

Posted on: April 11, 2013

Spartan Sports Journalism Classic

Name a leading sports media enterprise today and CAS School of Journalism faculty member and national award-winning reporter L.A. Dickerson can tell you at least one of our students or graduates now working there as a professional journalist or intern. Nearly100 sports news outlets around the country seek out our student interns and close to50 of our graduates are employed in high profile, top sports journalism positions today.

Early this year I had the opportunity to visit with MSU Athletics Hall of Famer, NBA All Star, US Olympic Gold Medalist and NBA TV sports analyst Steve Smith in Atlanta. Steve expressed an interest in giving back to MSU by working with our sports journalism students. Furthermore, he challenged us to develop creative learning experiences. I was thrilled when he agreed to co-host a special event with me to help elevate national awareness of our Sports Journalism program! And, my gratitude increased tenfold when he agreed to jump in the deep end with us as we launched an ambitious day-long event to further our sports journalism program AND acknowledge WKAR's growing commitment to sports.

So on Thursday, April 11, 2013, be prepared to see CAS hallways filled with some of the biggest names in local and national sports broadcasting for the first annual Spartan Sports Journalism Classic. This event will not only celebrate the college's outstanding School of Journalism and its amazing cadre of sports journalism alumni and student interns, but also recognize recently retired host of WKAR's "SportsTalk," Earle Robinson. Earle hosted the show for 39 years and touched a lot of lives during his long run with WKAR. WKAR will also announce who will be the new host of sports programming that afternoon as well.

The day will begin with several sports reporters visiting classrooms to share their career experiences with students. Then, it's lunch with students and faculty before the games begin. After lunch, approximately 20 practicing sports journalists will join students for "Speed Coaching" in the CAS north lobby. Our own Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education Janet Lillie and Alumni Relations Coordinator Rachael Zylstra will referee the Speed Coaching event. Picture journalism students having five minutes to sell themselves to a sports broadcasting superstar before a whistle blows and they are off for a new round.

In the late afternoon, two panels of celebrity journalists will answer challenging questions about the future of sports journalism from moderator Steve Smith. The program will be streamed live by WKAR from Studio A, before a live audience. Guests will include students, sports journalism faculty, and friends and supporters of WKAR and Earle Robinson. Students are helping to prepare the questions so expect some pretty timely topics to be discussed.

So, who has confirmed to attend to date? In addition to co-host Steve Smith, CAS alumni and friends include Jarrett Bell of USA Today, Joe Block of the Milwaukee Brewers, Greg Kelser of Fox Sports Detroit (Pistons commentator) and the Big Ten Network, Al Toby of Yahoo! Sports, Jack Ebling of SPORT Magazine, Ryan Field of Fox Sports Detroit, Jeff Genthner of Fox Sports, Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, Lynn Henning of the Detroit News, Tara Hernandez of Fox 17 TV (Grand Rapids), Geoff Kimmerly of MHSAA First Pitch, Tony Paul of the Detroit News, Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press, Shireen Saski of CBS Sports, Tim Staudt of WILX (Lansing), and Kelly Thesier of the LPGA.

We're swinging big with the college's first Spartans Sports Journalism Classic. Check out what a few of our CAS students and graduates recently wrote about our sports journalism program.

-Pamela Whitten

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