Briar Cliff Offers New Sports Information Major
Briar Cliff University has recently added a new major to the Media Communications Department: Sports Information. In this major, students learn about the ins and outs of what it takes to be in the field of sports broadcasting.
Chanel Davis, a freshman at Briar Cliff, is one of the students involved in the major.
“This major was actually the main reason I decided to come to BCU,” Davis said. “I was excited to try it out.”
While closely aligned with the schools Mass Communications major, Sports Information takes a much deeper dive into working with the athletics industry. Kristen Perez, a professor in the Media Communications Department, shared her insight on the importance of adding this major.
“Sports organizations are growing rapidly around the country,” Perez said. “They’re all going to need people to work on their communications.”
Perez went on to mention how close the new major resembles the already existent Mass Communications degree offered by the university. Sports information and Mass Communications students will be taking many classes together, only assigned projects will be different, with Sports Information students covering sports-related topics.
“The skills that students will learn will allow them to do really anything in the field of Mass Communications, but the materials that they put together within their classes will be specific to the sports industry,” Perez said.
This program is expected to bring a larger group of students to the department, with Briar Cliff being a small school composed primarily of student-athletes. The Mass Communications Department also has a rich history of former students finding success in the sports industry, examples being Kyle Chinen, a reporter for Hawaii Sports Now, and Cole Wright, the studio host and sports reporter for the Marquee Sports Network.
Accomplishments of students like these are the reason Briar Cliff’s Media Communications Department was ranked 17th in last year’s national poll.
When it comes to internships, these students can work for organizations such as the Arena Sports academy, or even with sports teams right here on campus. There’s potential for positions that will cover a specific team’s communications like social media, photography, video, or other related responsibilities.
The addition of the Sports Information program gives current students excitement for potential careers after graduation.
“Department Chair [Michael] Crowley has been a huge aspect as to why I enjoy the major,” Davis said.
The St. Louis native has a dream to one day become a sports analyst, looking up to big names in the industry like Stephen A. Smith or Shannon Sharpe.
With the major being as new as it is, the interest in the program already shows great promise.
“At a school where so many students are athletes and are passionate about athletics, this offers them a career in sports outside of being a professional,” Perez said.
For those who are interested in the Sports Information program, further data can be found on the Briar Cliff website, or email Professor Kristen Perez at Kristen.Perez@briarcliff.edu.