Mason Offers Students New Sport Communication Minor

Communication Department and The School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism team up to offer students more opportunities in sports and journalism

by B.J. Koubaroulis

So you can't throw a spiral like Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell or make a cutback move like running back Clinton Portis. That doesn't mean you'll never share a locker room with them.

This fall, George Mason University's new sport communication minor will offer students the opportunity to gain an understanding of sport mass media, sport reporting, interpersonal and organizational communication.

The minor will be particularly helpful for those students seeking employment in sport management or sport media.

"This minor provides students with the opportunity to focus on their communication skills and learn something about the sports world from both sides of the business," said Steve Klein, communication instructor and former sport journalist who spent time at USA Today before coming to Mason. "The top three things employers look for on a resume are internships, skill set and knowledge base."

Through a cooperative relationship between the Communication Department and the Sports Management program in the School of Recreation, Health and Tourism, students can achieve the minor in 18 semester hours.

"It's a natural extension of current interests in both units," said Robert Baker, Director of the Sport Management Program. "This program combines the expertise in sport management with the expertise in communication to enhance student learning and better prepare them for related professional careers."

Requirements include COMM 303, COMM 320, SPMT 201 or 304, SPMT 430 and two electives.

With a strong local media market in the D.C. metropolitan area and several professional sports teams like the Redskins, Nationals, Mystics, D.C. United, Wizards, Capitals and many other semi-pro teams and marketing organizations, the sport communication minor prepares students for the "reality they will face with an educational background that will help them to be competitive in a difficult, but attainable, workplace," Klein said.

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