Page 34 - Foxtalk Winter 2012

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Winter 2012
Gavin recalled that Strudler had students analyze and debate
this question: Is competitive eating (think hotdog contests) real
“At first it seemed like glorified gluttony,’’ said Gavin, but
after analysis their conclusion differed. “We decided it was a
very different kind of sport, but a sport.’’
It is these experiences—in and out of the classroom—that
the new Sports Center for Communication will enhance and
capitalize on, said Strudler and Ralston.
And they have a healthy “to-do’’ list for the new Center.
Some the highlights are these:
•Add to the already impressive industry speaker list and the
corporate connections available to students
•Launch a new multi-media web page that will serve at the
Center’s hub for information gathering and distribution
•Push for special topics courses such as “video board
•Produce sports-related surveys done with the Marist
Institute for Public Opinion
•Increase opportunities for students in the marketing and
production areas at the newly expanded McCann Athletic
The Center will provide a unique opportunity for college
students to work with professional editors, said Matt Pepin,
sports editor at, and chair of the Northeast Region
Associated Press Sports Editors.
APSE Northeast Region members, who’ve held two back-to-
back conferences at Marist, were poised this fall to vote on for-
the ranks in the competitive fields of sports marketing, public
relations, broadcasting and journalism.
Real-life challenges in class and activities like the conference
in North Carolina help Marist students hold their own against
graduates from schools with far bigger programs—and the
Center will give them an even sharper edge, he said.
“The more we can make our program visible and notable, the
more those resumes will hold the same weight [as those from
larger programs] and will end up on the same desk,’’ he said.
Students past and present said the sports communication
classes and Strudler’s influence have already given them a big
leg up in the professional world.
“In his classes, we weren’t reading textbooks. We were work-
ing with groups, hitting deadlines and doing sports market-
ing,’’ said Frank Lombardy ’07, assistant athletic director for
External Affairs at the McCann Center.
Marist’s recent results in the NCAA Division I “Pack the
House’’ competition are good examples. Students work on the
marketing and promotional plans, which are used in judging
efforts to sell out a women’s basketball game on a given night.
After winning the regional MAAC conference event in
2008, Marist was chosen in 2011 as the overall division winner,
beating out 177 participating colleges from 32 conferences and
sellout crowds at schools like Army, Duke and Michigan State.
Trevor Gavin, who graduated the same year as Lombardy, is
part of a string of Marist alumni who have made their way into
the workforce as ESPN in Bristol, Conn.
The production assistant on ESPN’s Monday Night Football,
said Strudler did more than make students think outside the
box—he insisted on it.