Assistant Online Editor
At the age of 15, most children are unsure about their future or perhaps even what they will do the next day. The Communications/Sports Journalism major, often referred to as COSJ, at Springfield College, however, is not your average 15 year old. Besides the obvious that it is not an actual specimen, it also contrasts with the average teenager from the point-of-view that most 15-year olds are not nearly as impressive, on a relative scale. In 15-years COSJ at Springfield College has gone from a thought to a major that can attract people like ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo and Sports Illustrated writer Steve Rushin to come speak.
“I think we’ve been blessed to attract great students, first and foremost,” Springfield College COSJ professor Marty Dobrow commented on the maturation of the major. “People with a tremendous amount of drive and interest and curiosity; a willingness to embrace the hard work that excellence demands.” Dobrow joined the Springfield College team in 1999, which was the first year of the major.
On Tuesday, COSJ had a birthday celebration. Invited to the party were alums, current students, and prospective students.
“There’s just a really good community of people who have this shared passion for journalism and that was on full display yesterday,” Dobrow noted. “It was great to see the COSJ community turning out in force.”
Throughout the day, alums Paul Singley (Class of ’03), Anna Grearson (Class of ’06), Kelly Foley (Class of ’12), and Samantha Reed (Class of ’13) talked to the audience members about their current situation and how COSJ helped them get there.
“[Springfield College professors] will always be there for you,” Grearson pointed out. Grearson is a sports editor for the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus in Barre, Vt. Grearson has won awards, such as Vermont Sportswriter of the Year from the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. Grearson also talked about what she has learned since she left Alden Street in 2006.
“I learned quickly that the only routine is that there is no routine,” Grearson said. “Also, never think you’re too good or too big for any part of this major. I started writing obituaries and that taught me sensitivity.”
Grearson came to Springfield College as a Physical Education major, but is more than thrilled that she switched to COSJ. How does she know? She says, “The reason that I get on the good day.”
At 2 p.m. was the main event: Rebecca Lobo and Steve Rushin. They discussed stories that ranged from their upbringing tp to taking a jog with President Bill Clinton. The couple, who was very fittingly married at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and now has four kids, is a perfect match, and it was on full display on Tuesday.
“In Rebecca’s case, she just likes seeing herself on TV,” Rushin jokingly noted when an audience member asked what drives them. Rushin also answered for himself, saying, “I like to read. I believe that the most important part of writing is reading.”
Lobo advised students to get involved and get as many reps as possible.
They would also discuss their difference of opinion on many subjects and people, such as Roger Clemens. Lobo, who led the University of Connecticut to their first championship in 1995, was a fan of “The Rocket,” while Rushin differed in opinion. Rushin held a grudge because Clemens blew off the writing legend, who became a senior writer at Sports Illustrated at the age of 25, for four days when Rushin was attempting to complete a story that included Clemens.
All, even the President of Springfield College, Mary-Beth Cooper, enjoyed the event.
“I thought that they were very engaging,” Cooper said. “I’m glad they were here.”
Who knows what will happen in the next 15 years, but if it’s half as great as the first 15, future students will be flocking to the COSJ major at Springfield College.
“For the next 15 years I hope there’s a continued progress in terms of attracting students who are really motivated and with potentially good futures,” Springfield College COSJ professor Dennis Gildea said. “I think that probably will happen because as we produce more graduates they get the chance to influence students and young people they run into.” Gildea has been at Springfield College for 20 years.
Other COSJ professors at Springfield College include Kyle Belanger and Jody Santos, who have both been here for five years and play a substantial role in the future of the program.