Students and faculty members from NMU's Department of Communication and Media Studies (CAMS) attended the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Great Lakes Broadcast and Sports Media Academy at Ford Field in Detroit earlier this month. They also promoted NMU's multimedia production and journalism programs to high school students. The weekend culminated in a tour of Bally Sports' behind-the-scenes operations and a chat with show host John Keating at Little Caesars Arena prior to attending NMU alumni night at the Red Wings hockey game.
“I think the most beneficial part of the trip was that it allowed me to make plenty of new connections in the sports journalism industry,” said student Brianna Weaver. “I feel so incredibly grateful that I was able to hear from some of the local media representatives from my hometown, and pick up some tips and tricks on how to get my foot in the door. Even though the trip as a whole was a highlight, I think the tour with Bally Sports was my favorite. I've wanted to work for a professional sports team ever since I decided to pursue the journalism field. The one thing I knew beforehand, but continued to learn during this trip, is that working hard for the dream I have in mind will pay off one day.”
"The experience we had at MAB Detroit was a blast,” added student Austin Graham. “I got to know everyone on the trip a lot better in the few days that we spent with each other. I also learned a lot about how to better myself as an on-air talent and become more well-rounded in news and sports production. My favorite part was getting to tour Bally Sports Detroit and meeting John Keating, the pre- and post-game show host for the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers. I've watched his shows ever since I was a kid, so it was definitely a star-struck moment for me. He gave some really insightful advice to everyone about prep work, writing and how to keep moving forward when things get tough."
More than 900 college and high school students attended the academy on Thursday, Nov. 2. The provost provided funding for NMU to be a co-sponsor of the event. NMU staffed a recruiting table during a three-hour career fair, talking with high school students and handing out NMU materials. Wildcat Willy was there to interact with students and mascots from the Detroit Tigers and other universities. Promotional videos from Department Head Mark Shevy, Professor Dwight Brady and Public Eye News students played on the Ford Field jumbotron screen.
“We are thankful for the university funding support and hope it will bring new students to NMU,” said Mark Shevy, CAMS department head. “But we know for certain that it yielded immediate benefits by giving our current students a powerful, positive experience that has them fired up for their professional goals and NMU.”
Student Teyon Croft was interviewed by My Michigan TV and shared the link with his family. All nine NMU students who made the trip also visited dozens of career fair tables hosted by broadcast and other media production companies, while Shevy and Brady spoke to media companies about internship and job relationships.
Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist made an appearance at the academy. While posing for a photo with Wildcat Willy, Gilchrist pulled up a pant leg to reveal he was wearing NMU socks. Shevy called it a “serendipitous event.”
On Friday, Nov. 3, Brady and NMU students spoke to five classes at John Glenn High School in Westland about the importance of communication and media, as well as related opportunities at NMU.
The NMU delegation received media credentials on Saturday from a Bally Sports coordinating producer who led them on a tour of the broadcast facilities in Little Caesars Arena. A chat with sports broadcasting legend Keating followed. The group attended a pre-game NMU alumni event, then watched an exciting Red Wings victory.
Watch a video Brady produced on the academy and other activities here.