The one-day student-run symposium will be held at 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Friday, April 13. Guests include a number of women sports journalists and sports media professionals, including recent UMass Sports Journalism alums.
The sports industry is home to the most exclusive of boys’ clubs, and women in sports media face one of the biggest gender gaps of any other career. Women in sports, by nature, have to be headstrong and self-confident. For years, they fought to get fair access to locker rooms to do their jobs. Today, they’re still fighting, but for deserved legitimacy, bylines and the right to go on television without being objectified and harassed on Twitter. The mission of this symposium is to provide a forum for educating students about the career options, opportunities and challenges for women in sports media. By sharing these experiences, we can all empower each other.
This event is being co-sponsored by Women for UMass, the UMass Journalism Department, the UMass Department of Communication and the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management. It has been made possible thanks to a grant from Women for UMass. The event is free and open to all, and lunch will be served. We hope to see you there!
Share the Experience: Second Annual Women in Sports Media Symposium will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Integrative Learning Center, Room S240, with keynote speaker Keri Potts.
Students should dress as they would for an interview.
9:00 a.m. Arrival of Guests & Light Breakfast (ILC S240)
9:30 - 10:30 a.m. ESPN’s Keri Potts
10:45 - 11:15 a.m. Interview with Adrienne Matt, founder of the Adrienne Matt Scholarship
11:15 - 12:15 p.m. Panel Discussions with ESPN Editors Cristina Daglas, Jena Janovy and Christina Kahrl
12:15 - 12:45 p.m. Lunch (Communication Hub)
12:45 - 2:00 p.m. A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Rising UMass Sports Journalism Alumni Panel (Journalism Hub)
3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Networking/Advice Workshops (Topics: Salary Negotiations, Jobs & Internships)
Keri Potts, native of Smithtown, N.Y. (Long Island), is ESPN’s senior director, communications, responsible for setting the strategic communications efforts for all college sports event and studio content. In her 15 years at ESPN, she has publicized properties ranging from the NFL and NBA, to the World Series of Poker, the creation of ESPN Films and its inaugural slate of the award-winning 30 for 30 documentary series, The ESPYS and the launch of espnW, ESPN’s first dedicated women’s business. In 2016, PRWeek named her to its 40 Under 40 list. She joined ESPN from the NCAA in 2003 where she had served as a writer, editor and playing rules liaison for 3.5 years. Potts was co-captain of the Syracuse University women’s volleyball team, the 1999 Orange Plus female athlete of the year and remains its first and only first-team Academic All-American, graduating with her B.S. and M.S. from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Beyond sports, Potts is known for her work as a victims’ advocate, a national anti-sexual violence speaker and presenter for A Fight Back Woman, Inc., and a rape crisis counselor, having chronicled her own assault and international prosecution of her attacker in 2008 for Marie Claire, the Travel Channel and Discovery ID. Potts has served as a victims advocate for the Milford Rape Crisis Center (Milford, Conn.), Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital and now volunteers with the Gwinnett Rape Crisis and Children’s Advocacy Center in Georgia. She serves on the Diversity & Inclusion Council of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and the Atlanta Tip Off/Naismith Board of Directors. In 2017, she was named ESPN’s Volunteer of the Year and is on the board of Pathways to Safety International, the only organization to help Americans sexually assaulted abroad.
Cristina Daglas is a deputy editor at ESPN.com, where she oversees all things NBA, from long-term theme development to multiplatform storytelling and day-to-day coverage. Prior to dotcom, Daglas was a senior editor at ESPN The Magazine, where she coordinated NFL enterprise coverage, edited award-winning long-form, assisted in the creation of several television specials and worked with the college basketball, NBA and MLB teams. Before entering the sports world, Daglas was the editor of D Magazine in Dallas and Milwaukee Magazine. She holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri, where she was awarded the Thurgood Marshall Fellowship. Perhaps most important, she is a Chicago native and die-hard Cubs fan.
Jena Janovy is a senior deputy editor overseeing the domestic digital enterprise unit for ESPN Digital & Print Media. She manages long-form cross-platform features in collaboration with ESPN The Magazine and TV units, focusing on innovation and new storytelling approaches. She has won two Sports Emmys and has been nominated for four additional Sports Emmys for her work as coordinating producer of digital content for ESPN.com. She's spent more than 22 years in newspaper and online journalism. Before joining ESPN in 2006, she was an assistant sports editor at The Charlotte Observer, where she coordinated the NFL, NBA and enterprise coverage and oversaw the night sports desk operation. She also spent a year as the Charlotte 49ers' men's and women's basketball beat writer.
Christina Kahrl is a national MLB writer and editor for ESPN.com. She got involved in sports journalism in 1996 by cofounding the Baseball Prospectus, a think tank responsible for industry-leading sabermetric analysis online and a best-selling annual season guide. As an editor and publisher, she helped launch similar quantitative sports analysis in basketball and football, and has been a contributing editor to ESPN’s NFL Encyclopedia. She was part of the first group of online writers voted into the Baseball Writers Association of America in 2008. Kahrl is known as the first sportswriter to come out as transgender, transitioning in 2003. She was inducted into the inaugural class of the Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in 2013, and into Chicago’s LGBT Hall of Fame in 2014.
Adrienne Matt is a content strategist who solves business problems with content. Her firm, Intrepid Content, codifies systems, creates guidelines and manages business rules for content and digital experiences. For close to two decades, Ms. Matt has played the role of a content strategist for some of the top digital advertising agencies in North America and Europe, including Ogilvy, Wunderman, Digitas, Sapient, Digitaria/JWT, Rufus Leonard, and Publicis Kaplan Thaler. Clients have included American Express, E*TRADE, BlackRock, Citibank, Bloomberg Wealth, J.P. Morgan Chase, Dawn, Cascade, Qualcomm, SAP, HP, Dell, Pfizer, Novartis, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Providence Health & Services and United Healthcare. Adrienne is a former reporter and producer. She worked at FOX Sports Broadband, ABCNews.com, PGA Tour Productions, The Associated Press, Dallas Morning News, Orange County Register and other news organizations. She garnered two Cable ACE awards while at PGA Tour Productions and as well as other journalism awards while in the newsroom. She founded a scholarship for female journalism students at UMass-Amherst who are specializing in sports journalism.
Bridgette Proulx '16 is a producer and host at IMG College where she broadcasts pregame, halftime, and post-game segments of live college sporting events including football, basketball, hockey and baseball games. She has hosted on the Boston College IMG Sports Network, the Miami IMG Sports Network, and the Chippewa Sports Network. Proulx graduated from UMass in 2016 with a degree in Journalism and Sport Management. She is a former Sports Production Director at 91.1 WMUA.
Jacqui Collins '17 worked as the Social Media Intern for the New England Patriots during the 2017 season, where she assisted in the creation and execution of content on all official Patriots platforms. She traveled to Minnesota and captured live content at Super Bowl LII. Prior to that, she was an intern in the UMass Athletics communication department. At UMass, Collins majored in Communication and BDIC with a concentration in Communication in the Sports Industry.
Emily Driscoll '17 is currently a Marketing Coordinator for NBC Sports Boston. She joined NBC Sports Boston full time in January of this year. Emily graduated from UMass in 2017 where she majored in Journalism with a concentration in sports. While in school, she worked closely with several departments at UMass Athletics, specifically media relations and athletic development. Emily attributes her early career success to all of the experience she garnered in her internships with NBC Sports, Xfinity, UMass Athletics and the Milton Times.
Kaitlin Boyer '16 is a Production Assistant at ESPN, where she creates content for various ESPN platforms. She produces video elements including highlights, builds graphics, and works collaboratively with producers and anchors. Kaitlin has had the opportunity to support the productions of Baseball Tonight, College Basketball Live, College Football Live, NCAA Women’s Final Four, the Sugar Bowl, the Rose Bowl, SportsCenter, espnW, and Wimbledon. Kaitlin graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2016, where she earned her B.A. in Journalism with a Sports Concentration. During her time at UMass, she worked as an on-air reporter for Amherst Wire TV.
Alexandra Furlo '17 is an Associate Operator at ESPN. As an Associate, she has gained vast experience in various groups in Production Operations, including Edit, Media Operations and Production Control Room Operations. Furlo has had the opportunity to be part of some popular shows, such as First Take, NFL Live and Sportcenter. and was a part of the day to day operations of the Australian Open, the Olympics and College National Football Championship. At UMass, she graduated with a B.A. in Journalism with a sports concentration and was involved with UMass Sports Network, UVC-TV19 and the Amherst Wire.
Alexandra Francisco '17 works on digital operations and covers high school sports for MassLive. Before graduating from UMass Amherst (with Marcus Camby) in May of 2017 with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Film Studies Certificate, Alex Francisco was a beat reporter and analyst for soccer, basketball, and baseball on UVC-TV's UMass Sports Weekly. During the summer of 2016, she worked at New England Sports Network as a Red Sox television production intern, and in her senior year, she joined the newly-found UMass chapter of the Association for Women in Sports Media. A Ludlow, MA, native, Alex moved back to the Springfield area to join MassLive as a sports intern after graduation. She is still with MassLive, where she works on digital operations and covers high school sports, and also works part-time for a marketing company as video producer. As of now, Alex's sights are still set on pursuing a career in sports media. She's excited to see where her background in sportswriting and film takes her, but would settle for a show on HGTV.