The Association for Women in Sports Media, has founded a student chapter at Penn State. The group, with five previous student chapters, had its first meeting on Tuesday, with about 25 prospective members ranging from undergraduates to graduate students and Ph.D. candidates.
According to AWSM’s website, the organization is a support network and advocacy group for women who work in sports media. The Penn State group hopes that the club will be able to offer professional opportunities such as guest speakers as well as resume and interview advice.
Lori Shontz, a Penn State alumna and current editor of the Penn Stater alumni magazine, is a longtime member of the national organization and created the student group at Penn State. She will serve as a liaison between the Penn State group and the national chapter.
The executive board consists of sophomore President Megan Flood, senior Vice President Emily Kaplan, and sophomore Treasurer Katelyn Marmon.
Kaplan, a former intern with the Philadelphia Inquirer, said that she wanted to start the club for women because there was no other support system for females who wanted to work in sports media.
Kaplan, also a member of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, wanted a place for women in the center and in the College of Communications to have a place to come together.
“Until now, there hasn’t really been any forum for students to talk about issues they come across in classes or internships, network with each other, or discuss what it’s like to be a female in a male-dominated landscape. So we hope to address all of that — and hopefully have some fun along the way,” Kaplan said.
Flood got involved with starting the club for a few reasons; “I wanted to start the club not only because the national chapter wanted to start a student chapter, but also I thought there was a specific void to fill at Penn State. I wanted to increase student involvement within the college. There are so many students across the College of Communications, but often it feels like you have to fight for yourself in the world of journalism.”
The club plans to meet once a month in addition to several question-and-answer sessions a semester. The first session will be with former Philadelphia Inquirer war correspondent Inga Saffron, on April 2, 2013.