How do you remember your time here at the University of Maryland and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism?
For the past few years, the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism has asked some of our alumni who are now sports journalists to remember – to talk about what made their time here on campus so special. Those memories have been reprinted in the program sold during the Terp homecoming game Nov. 7, 2015.
Download the Merrill Memories Homecoming 2015 insert: MerrillMemories.pdf
2015 Homecoming Game: Maryland Memories
- Bob Ford ’76 – Sports Columnist, Philadelphia Inquirer: “…when I visit campus to speak to a class or to take part in faculty programs, is that the spirit of the place is unchanged. The faculty and staff are passionate about the business without treating it as an exclusive club that only a very few are worthy to join. It remains an open door where those who wander through can be given a chance for success.”
- Evan Parker ’05 – Senior Executive, NASCAR: “…while my role today as NASCAR’s senior director of integrated marketing doesn’t call upon specific lessons learned in journalism class (like AP Style), I never would have gotten here without my time at Merrill, or my time at WMUC and UMTV.”
- David Selig ’06 – Sports Editor, South Florida Sun Sentinel: “I’ll never forget writing the game story when (Gary) Williams became the winningest coach in school history. I was there at the NFL draft chronicling Vernon Davis’ teary first minutes as a professional. And I was lucky enough to spend a summer internship covering the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals.”
- Kaitlyn Wilson ’11 – Managing Editor, PressBox: “I have found that with each internship and job I have taken, I have been more than prepared. My concentration has always been sports journalism, and throughout my time at the J-school my professors had me on fields, in locker rooms and doing real reporting. There is no greater learning experience than those that come firsthand, and it was those experiences that prepared me for my first job.”
- Travis Mewhirter ’12 – Sportswriter, Orange County Register; Today’s U: “Without Maryland, I would not be where I am today – in Orange County, Calif. – and that is the indisputable truth. When I enrolled in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, I thought I was a strong writer. I was also wrong. Every paper I got back looked like it was subjected to some terrible massacre, there was so much red ink on it. It was trying and challenging and everything a young, raw journalist needed. So you learn, you adjust. You make that extra call. You give the story one more edit. You do this because, you soon discover, you love it.”
- Aaron Carter, M.A. ’12 – Sportswriter, Philadelphia Inquirer: “…brick and mortar buttress the building, but the Merrill College is built on the talented, devoted and compassionate people inside its walls. Even after I graduated, some of the best minds in academia and journalism such as Kevin Blackistone and Rafael Lorente, still lent their ears. Alan Goldenbach, another former professor, had moved on to teach at Utica College in New York, but still answered the phone and provided guidance from afar. …That’s what the Merrill College has done for me. It’s about the relationships you make and the willingness of everyone to help each other excel.”
- Jimmy Reed ’13 – Pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals Organization: “Merrill gave me an education that not many other students at Maryland could get. Instead of studying out of a textbook and reading hundreds of pages a night, I was out talking to people. I wasn’t writing an academic thesis paper on Shakespeare; I was writing about what real people thought about real issues. I learned how to be pushed. Our professors and teachers always wanted more. There’s always something more to the story that you haven’t found yet, they would tell us. They pushed us to find it. And we pushed ourselves as classmates to find it, too.”
- Zainab Mudallal ’14 – News and Fitness Editor at The Washington Post Express: “In my sports class, the readings were fascinating, assignments fun and discussions eye-opening. Some of my favorite assignments were covering a local high school football game and a Maryland football game. That class opened the door to my monthly column on the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism website, called “In Class,” in which I wrote about journalism student experiences during their senior year.”
- Rhiannon Walker ’15 – Sportswriter, Dallas Morning News: (At Merrill College) “I learned how hard it is to be a good journalist, let alone trying to be a great one. I learned how to handle tragedy very early on and setbacks. I learned how to handle success as well – I treated the internships and opportunities I got the same way I treated basketball in high school, if I do my job other people will see it and they will recognize my potential.”