Friday, January 26, 2024
SJMC students and instructor Wayne Drehs

Nine SJMC students ignited their dreams over winter break, reported Wayne Drehs, SJMC alum and visiting professional. The students joined Drehs in Chicago, IL for a four-day Journalism and Mass Communication experience course, “Chicago Sports Media Experience,” taught by Drehs. Students spent valuable time meeting and networking with professionals.

During their time in Chicago, students went behind the scenes with the Chicago Wolves, Big Ten Network, Chicago Bulls, and CHGO. They interviewed athletes, wrote feature stories, and worked on deadlines.

SJMC students at Big Ten Network

“In Chicago, I met some of the most successful sports media professionals and had once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like being in a Bulls game press box and touring the Big Ten network,” said SJMC student Erika Safrin. “I even made a digital marketing plan for the Chicago Wolves that their PR team now has.

The class spoke with SJMC grads Anne Costabile, Chicago Sky/WNBA beat reporter at Chicago Sun Times, Scott Miller, Chief Operating Officer at Better Collective and Nicolas Moreano, Bears beat reporter for CHGO Bears, over dinner, and heard industry experiences from Fox Sportscaster, Adam Admin. They also attended the Bulls career fair and made contacts with more than 30 national sports organizations.

SJMC students in the Chicago Bulls press box

Students involved in this experience course included Joel Kellar, Erika Safrin, AJ Reisetter, Sydney Goldberg, Mia Boulton, Avery Arens, Kyle Prondzinski, Elise Gan, and Dominick Owens.

Drehs, the course instructor, is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and former senior feature writer for ESPN Digital and Print Media.

“It was cool to have students at different points in their collegiate career participate,” said Drehs. “Every student that took the Chicago Sports Media Experience class burst into this semester like folks who do the Running of the Bulls.”

Experience courses are educational opportunities for unique journalism, strategic communication, and/or media-related experiences. Winter 2024 was the first semester this course was offered.