At the beginning of the semester, juniors Danielle Allentuck and Danielle Schear decided to start an Ithaca College chapter of the Association for Women in Sports Media. While interning with USA Today over the summer, Allentuck heard about the national organization from a co-worker. She then approached Schear to see if she wanted to help organize the club. Allentuck, former sports editor of The Ithacan, is president, and Schear is the vice president.
Sports Editor Caitie Ihrig sat down with Schear to talk about starting the club and their goals for this year.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Caitie Ihrig: How did you and Danielle come up with the idea to start this club?
Danielle Schear: She knew about the national organization, and they have a really good intern scholarship program for the summer. And we thought that we need a club like this on campus because there are so many people who are interested in pursuing a career in sports media, and this is just a great place to foster that.
CI: Why do you guys want to do this with this specific organization?
DS: I think that it is just about the connections. There is a fee that we have to pay that is $25 for students for the whole year, which gives you entry to this incredible database. … You can find people who have worked in any kind of sports team or with any kind of company you are looking into, so you have that connection where you could possibly email them and say, “Hey, I am also a part of the Association for Women in Sports Media — do you need an intern or any kind of help?” And it can also go vice versa, like the people we have lined up to Skype with us — we found those through the connections through this organization.
CI: What was the process to bring this club to campus?
DS: It was kind of a lengthy process with OSEMA that involved a lot of paperwork, but it was pretty easy. But it was a lot to do with college, and starting clubs is hard. So what we had to do was recruit 10 members to pay the fee for the national organization, and then we had to find an adviser and create a letter of intent filled with our short-term and long-term goals. Once that was formally approved by the national organization, we started the process with OSEMA — which actually, although there was a lot to do, it was very quick and it happened in the process of about a week, when we thought it would take at least half of a semester, which was really rewarding to know that we got it up and running so quickly.
CI: How does this club fit in with the larger picture of women in sports media?
DS: I think that this is a really good base to have on campus, and this is something that we can all fall back onto and have this organization and have these other women, anyone really that is interested in sports media. It is a really great thing to have that we can fall back on and that we can look to for guidance. So with the bigger picture, we want to make sure that we are creating and fostering an empowering place and supportive and making sure that everyone that comes through this club is really confident and can go out into the real world for whatever it may be.
CI: What are the goals for this club?
DS: Our general goals are to make sure that we have a consistent amount of people coming to our events and club meetings. Although we are a new club, we had a great first turnout so we are hoping to keep those numbers nice and high. We are also trying to go to the national conference, which they host. And this year, it is in Arizona. We have to figure out how we are going to fund for flights and stuff which is something that we are really looking forward to doing. It is going to be a process, but I am sure it is going to be very rewarding and we are very confident that we are going to be able to go to this conference. Going to this conference would be a huge deal for us, because we would be able to return for all of this great information for the following semesters and for the future of the club. I think that that is one of our big goals.
CI: What events are you planning for the club to participate in?
DS: So far, we have a Chipotle Profit Sharing set up for December, we are trying to go to the convention, and we are also trying to plan an overnight trip to New York City, which is something that we are starting to plan with the dean, who has a few connections, and we are looking to set up. We are trying to connect with other chapters. The other college chapters that have been approved have been extremely supportive and are always tweeting at us, and they have so many resources for us, and it’s the same from the national organization. They always send gifts and stuff, and they are really invested in our success, which when the paperwork gets hard and when we do not get the turnout we wanted, it is just really nice to look back and see that they are rooting for us and that they want us to succeed, and that is awesome. It is keeping us going.
CI: How are you hoping this club helps women in sports media?
DS: So one of the big things is their scholarship intern program, and that really sets women up for success because what it is is a paid internship, and they have 10 different organizations. You become a finalist for one of them, and there is anything from media relations to broadcast and writing. You are going through this organization, and they know you are ready to work for them as a summer intern, so I think that program is a really big deal. It is something that we are going to really stress next year, and it is a personal goal for myself to get a lot of people to apply for it because I think that that is a career–maker.