Soaring Higher: LHU students, faculty travel to Atlanta and participate in Super Bowl LIII activities
Sixteen Lock Haven University students enrolled in the sport administration program recently had the chance to travel to Atlanta, Georgia, to benefit experientially through working at the National Football League Super Bowl LIII event.
From January 29 to February 4, the 16 students, along with three faculty members, had the opportunity to participate in professional sport facility tours with the Atlanta Braves, toured the College Football Hall of Fame, attended the educational symposium at Georgia State University and volunteered for various Super Bowl experiential learning activities with Super Bowl Live, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Steinberg Sports and Entertainment.
Each student had their own role to play during their time in Atlanta, which included overseeing social media updates about their experiences, welcoming fans to Atlanta and the Super Bowl Live experience, escorting NFL players to interviews, helping fans with the Super Bowl mobile app and more.
“This opportunity not only sets our Sport Studies Department and university apart, but also our graduates as they apply for their first full-time jobs in the sport industry,” said Dr. James Mattern. “By being able to indicate on their resumes that they worked the Super Bowl, students set themselves apart from other individuals applying for that same position. Furthermore, students are able to transfer what they are learning in the classroom into real-life scenarios, as they not only see the preparation that goes into the Super Bowl, but are able to work at the events surrounding that ‘Big Game.’ ”
LHU students who participated in the experience were: Patrick Barner, of Lock Haven; Gage Bender, of Muncy; Devin Burr, of Bellwood; John Davern, of Manchester, New Jersey; Alyssa Felty, of Annville; Marah Foltz, of Lancaster; Clayton Gummo, of Mill Hall; Cody Hinterliter, of Millerstown; Mathew Horner, of Bellefonte; Gabrielle Kishbaugh, of Berwick; Tyler Rothman, of Hatfield; Jordan Shoff, of York; Emily Vitale, of Rockaway, New Jersey; Ben Wilson, of Thomas Mills; Corey Woomer, of Northampton; and Kianni Wright, of York.
Faculty members who accompanied the students were Peter Campbell, Bridget Roun and Mattern, whose personal networking experience with colleagues who worked past Super Bowls and through volunteering and working two Super Bowl events himself, helped obtain this experience for the students. Mattern also accompanied a group of students who volunteered at the College Football National Championship in Atlanta last year, which also provided connections to help secure positions for the Super Bowl Live events.
Jordan Shoff, senior, said she really enjoyed the opportunity to meet and get to know professional athletes. Junior, Corey Woomer, said the interactions and connections with fans, players and Hall of Famers was one of the trip’s biggest highlights. “This was an incredible experience that I cannot put a value on,” said Clayton Gummo, sophomore, adding, “these opportunities are hard to come by and it was made possible by the professors at Lock Haven University.”
For the students, the experience not only was a memorable one, but one that cemented their career aspirations and provided a picture of what life in their chosen field might look like.
Sophomore, Alyssa Felty said the trip made it even more clear to her that event management is what she would like to pursue professionally. “By having this experience, it will not just boost my resume, but it will set me apart from others. It gave me an experience that will hopefully help me get a job,” Felty added.
Peter Campbell, LHU professor, said through the experience, the students also were able to utilize theories developed in the classroom. “This type of student experience at the premier annual sporting event in the United States is priceless and will allow Lock Haven University students to stand out from their student peers when applying for employment positions within the industry,” Campbell said.
Sophomore Patrick Barner said he is grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of one of the largest sporting events in the world. “Being able to take the information we learn in the classroom and apply it to a real-world event has provided me with a much deeper level of understanding and appreciation for all the aspects that go into planning and operating such a large event,” Barner said. “The quality of education one receives at Lock Haven from experienced professors with small class sizes, along with amazing real-world experiences—such as this trip—truly allows one to better prepare themselves for a career within the sports industry.”
“I think that the Sport Administration Department, as well as the rest of the faculty, are doing their very best to give us opportunities to succeed and stand out,” said Devin Burr, junior.
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