Published on March 16, 2017 by Sean Flynt  

by Erin Bognar

Samford University’s journalism and mass communication (JMC) sports media students were selected to partner with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Championships Festival March 6–10 in Birmingham, Alabama.

The festival, representing Division II universities and colleges from around the nation, included the national championships of five sports: women’s track and field, men’s track and field, women’s swimming and diving, men’s swimming and diving, and men’s wrestling.

Eighteen students from all areas of Samford JMC, including sports media minors, broadcast production students, sports writing students and public relations students, covered the various sports at the festival as part of an educational immersion program. They wrote feature stories, used social media in real time to publish event information, interviewed athletes, filmed broadcast segments, and assisted with press conferences and medal ceremony reports.

“Our students were able to complete the same work they’d be doing upon graduating as paid staff members,” said Bernie Ankney, Samford JMC department chair. “This opportunity is as good as it gets for our sports media students to build their résumés and get experience in the field.”

Erin Bognar is a journalism and mass communication major and news and feature writer in the Division of Marketing and Communication.

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Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.