Curley Center's 'unprecedented' trip offers opportunity for students

Erin Dolan interviews Jacksonville Jaguars fans in London. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ten Penn State students representing three different majors in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications are in London this week writing stories for the Miami Herald and the Sports Business Journal while working on a documentary highlighting the stories of British NFL fans.

The working trip, coordinated by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, follows a professional partnership model that's been used successfully in the past to provide students with hands-on experience at the highest levels. In the past, Curley Center students have covered Penn State football in Ireland, Penn State baseball in Cuba, and the 2016 Rio Paralympics. 

However, this trip is unprecedented for the Curley Center because students are working to make the center's first sports documentary. 

John Affleck, the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society and director of the Curley Center, said the center is committed to giving students an unparalleled experience that will help them grow and develop as both people and professional communicators in whatever medium they choose.

"While we continue to value professional partnerships very much, the Curley Center wanted to do some storytelling about sports that went outside the lines, to the culture of the game, and took a deep look at why we become passionate about sports," he said. "The NFL games in London seemed like a golden opportunity.”

The student-driven film and stories are in the hands of these Bellisario College students: Randi Ivler, senior, public relations; Mark Fischer, senior, journalism; Jill Beckman, senior, journalism; Kaitlin Kemmerer, senior, public relations; Jack Milewski, senior, journalism; Erin Dolan, senior, journalism; Leon Valsechi, senior, journalism; Hannah Geller, junior, film-video; Adhyaksh Amarnath, junior, film-video and industrial engineering; and, Paddy Cotter, sophomore, journalism.

They are accompanied by Affleck; Russ Eshleman, assistant teaching professor and head of the Department of Journalism; Boaz Dvir, assistant professor of journalism; and Pearl Gluck, assistant professor of film-video.

Last Updated June 02, 2021