Kyle Caron and Maddy Hooper team up as interns at The First Tee in Connecticut

Kyle Caron at his internship this summer during golf lessons.Written by: Kyle Caron

My name is Kyle Caron and I am a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut, having received my Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management. This past summer, I interned with The First Tee of Connecticut in Cromwell, Conn., this region’s chapter of the international First Tee organization. The First Tee is an organization that focuses on teaching the game of golf and instilling important life skills in young players. During my time there, I was able to gain experience in many aspects of running a non-profit organization such as marketing, financial development and community outreach.

For the first half of my internship, I worked in several community outreach efforts. This included going to different golf courses to teach clinics to children who may have not had access to the game otherwise as well as attending networking and marketing fairs to organize demo stations for kids to play in while I explained to their parents what The First Tee is all about. I also spent time volunteering at various tournaments throughout the state, as a representative of the organization, to help foster relationships with local golf clubs to attempt to spread the word about our programs and attract new students. I spent the second half of my internship working as a counselor for our Summer Camp program where I supervised campers and taught them ways and techniques to improve their game.

My time spent with The First Tee of Connecticut allowed me to learn more about what it takes to run a golf and youth development organization, specifically a non-profit one. As a non-profit organization targeted at kids who want to learn the game, I saw how creating relationships with other organizations in the community could be just as beneficial to an organization’s reputation as a large marketing campaign. I also saw the impact that sports can have on the development of a child’s life by teaching them ethics and values to live by such as respect, perseverance and integrity. Many of the kids who came up through The First Tee program are now successful college students with plenty of accolades and scholarships that reflect the character that our programs assisted in building. Because of the effects I saw due to children’s involvement with The First Tee, I would like to further pursue a career in sport-based youth development and try to make that same difference in the lives of future generations. Working with The First Tee of Connecticut was a valuable and enriching experience, and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

Written by: Maddy Hooper

My name is Maddy Hooper and I am from West Hartford, Conn. I did my summer internship at The First Tee of Connecticut, which is located in Cromwell on the grounds of TPC River Highlands. I first saw the position of Community Outreach Intern for this summer in one of the Sport Management weekly newsletters. I noticed it one day over Christmas break and immediately emailed Mark, my boss from this summer, and sent in my application. I interviewed for the position at the end of March and found out a week later that I gotten the position.

A photo that Maddy Hooper included in her internship experience of students during summer golf lessons.I did a lot of different things this summer. In my first few weeks before the kids came for the summer, we worked with children after school and completed tasks around the office. A few of the big projects that I completed during this time were reorganizing all of the closets and storage spaces in our building. The week before school got out was the week of the Travelers Championship. This was truly the busiest week of my life. We ran a ton of events that week and worked all over the course during the pro-am and tournament. This week was really cool for me because I met tons of important people in the golf world including the president of the PGA Paul Levy, and many professional golfers, such as Rory Mclroy and Paul Casey. Once school got out, I really began the work that I did this summer. For the remainder of the summer, I spent most of my time at different summer camps all over the state giving golf lessons. I went to places like Camp Courant, Channel 3 Kids Camp and Boys and Girls Club of New Haven.

My main takeaway from this summer is that it’s important to be helpful in every way possible. I became really close with everyone that I worked with and the full-time employees called me “the best intern ever.” I think they called me this because I was willing to do anything they asked me to do and did everything to the best of my ability, even if some days this was just sorting golf balls and moving cases of water. You can really leave your mark in a place by doing more then what is asked of you and making positive and friendly impressions. I hope to use the skills that I learned this summer and bring them with me as I pursue a career in non-profit youth development. The First Tee or any organization similar is where I would love to end up after graduation.

Title IX Celebrates its 45th Anniversary – Here’s How UConn’s Sport Management Program Celebrated

While Title IX celebrated its 45th anniversary last week, members of the UConn Sport Management program publicly acknowledged what its passing, almost five decades ago, has allowed them to accomplish in their personal careers in sport.

Students, alumni, professors, colleagues, teammates, coaches and mentors all joined in on the campaign to honor this milestone, sharing how Title IX has provided them with opportunities to achieve success, and will continue to do so in the future. Check out some of their responses to the prompted statement, "BecauseOfTitleIX..." BecauseoftitleIX campaign word cloud

‪"I'm able to travel the country representing my school & able to pursue a career in the sport industry!”

‪"I've hydrated some of the best athletes, mentored, coached & am inspired daily by incredible women."

‪"I have a spot on the field, a seat at the table, and the opportunity to make an impact"

‪"I'm the first college grad in my family & continue to share my passion for sports w/ student-athletes daily"

‪“I built relationships that'll last a lifetime, learned valuable lessons & can have a career in athletics!”

‪"I have seen female athletes achieve success at the highest level."

‪"I get to promote women in a sport that I have been playing since I was four years old."

‪“I've the opportunity to play the sport I love, surrounded by incredible women whose talents are limitless”

‪"I've had the opportunity to be not only a student-athlete but a college coach, & now Dir of Athletic Development!"

‪“I was able to pole vault in the State of Connecticut as an official track and field event, not an exhibition event, my senior year in high school.  Which set me up to earn the CT state women’s record and later the University of Connecticut’s school record.  It helped me earn a track scholarship, bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in sport management.”

"I found my passion and have been able to travel and meet to many inspirational people"

‪"I am able to fulfill my lifelong dream of playing Division I athletics, as an ice hockey player."

‪“I played the sport I love at a D1 level, have opportunities to learn & lead along side some of the strongest women I know.”

‪"I was seen as equal within my role as graduate head manager for an elite Division 1 Men's Team”

‪"I have the ability to travel to various sporting events and pursue a career that I love!”

‪"My professional/athletics careers are possible. I wouldn't be where I am if not for the women who came before me"

‪"I can dream."

‪"I was able to travel to Dallas to cover the Women's Final Four, and have pursued a career in athletics"

‪"I played. I coached. I studied. And now I teach, I learn and I lead."

‪"I get to work with Rhett at Fenway Park!!"

‪"I'm able to pursue a career in the sport industry & use it as a platform to advocate for female athletes"

“I’m a 7x All-American w/2 Master's, a career in athletics, making a difference in the lives of student-athletes”

"I was able to be a Division I Softball Student-Athlete!"

“Opportunities are endless and the best relationships are made.”

For more Tweets and Instagram posts or to engage in the dialogue, check out #BecauseOfTitleIX and #TitleIXat45.  Let's continue sharing each of our success and promote equality for all.

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Sport Management Program sends graduates on their way in first annual commemorative event

The University of Connecticut Sport Management program held its first annual Send-Off event on April 26 to congratulate and celebrate the students who would graduate from the university this spring.

Both undergraduate and graduate students attended the inaugural event, as did many of the programs’ faculty and alumni. The soon-to-be graduates were given the opportunity to network with past Sport Management students and discuss their future plans and aspirations with the professors who watched them grow during their time in the program.

Aaron Ryley represented the undergraduate graduating class at the event, giving a brief speech about the impact that his professors and fellow classmates had on his time at UConn. Sofia Read, the graduate class speaker, discussed how she knew that UConn was the right place for her from the first moment she arrived on campus.

The Sport Management graduate students received their Master’s Degrees on Saturday, May 6 in Gampel Pavilion, while the undergraduate students received their Bachelors of Science on Sunday, May 7 in the Jorgensen Center for Performing Arts.

Jackie Kelly Interns with the NCAA National Office in Indianapolis, IN

Story written by: Jackie Kelly 

After graduating from the University of Hartford, I was able to accept a position with the NCAA National Office in Indianapolis, IN.  The NCAA offers a postgraduate cohort based internship program that works with various departments throughout the national office. I worked as an intern for the Leadership Development department, which was responsible primarily for creating professional development programming for student-athletes, coaches, interns, graduate assistants and administrators across the NCAA membership.

Many of my daily tasks were focused on preparing for our programs. While working on site, I facilitated activities, panels and group discussions. I really enjoyed traveling to each of the programs, my favorite of which was the Pathway Program. This specific program is a yearlong professional development series held for senior level administrators aspiring to become athletic directors. I spent the majority of my time working on logistics, but was able to sit in on mock interviews and media training sessions as well. We were also able to take site visits to Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Emory and Clayton State University. During our time at these universities, the participants met with presidents, athletics directors and other current staffers. I was able to sit in on some of these conversations and presentations, which was extremely informative and allowed me to gain some valuable experience.

Over the course of that year I was able to create memories and relationships that I know will last a lifetime. My fellow interns in my cohort were and will always be like my family. Having been granted the opportunity to understand the NCAA from a national, internal perspective so soon after actually being a student athlete was a once in a lifetime experience that I will always treasure.

Interning for the Washington Wild Things

Story written by: Kyle Cooper

Throughout my undergraduate experience at Robert Morris University I was able to gain a few valuable internship opportunities in sport. The most memorable one was during the summer heading into my junior year; I served as a full-time sales intern with the Washington Wild Things, an independent league baseball organization in Washington, PA. With this opportunity I was able to maintain and build relationships through group sales efforts, headed the online sales department, as well as filled requests on single game ticket requests. We were a small organization so it allowed me the ability to carry many hats and I’m grateful to have experienced the intricacies that go into a small sports franchise.

Under the topic of carrying “many hats” included my most critical duty within the organization. For all fifty home games that season I suited up as the team mascot, the Wild Thing. It was a hot and sweaty summer perusing the home crowd, visiting the luxury suites, and performing all the between inning on-field promotions. As an unpaid sales intern the mascot role allowed me to get a paycheck each week that summer and I had a lot of fun performing. When I interviewed for the sales position that summer I did not anticipate dressing up as a 7-foot tall furry animal but the story that has been told since has been very worth it.

My total experience with the Wild Things was an experience I’ll always remember. I still have many friends from my Wild Thing family and the leadership through the Washington c-suite gave me a great look into a successful sports organization. Both learning the ins and outs of sports sales and the entertainment experience as a mascot was invaluable experience in what was a great summer internship.



UConn Sport Management master's student, Carolina Franco, shares her experiences working the Orange Bowl in Miami, FL

Written By Carolina Franco, Class of 2017

On December 27, 2015, I had the incredible opportunity to travel with Leigh Michaud, (a former UConn alumna and a current operations coordinator for ESPN) to the Orange Bowl in Miami, FL. cfAlthough it was a brief five-day trip, I still couldn’t believe that I was going to attend my first ever-collegiate football game as an operations assistant with ESPN. Thankfully, the weather was spectacular which made for an amazing experience.
I first learned about this opportunity from Dr. Joseph Cooper, who assisted me in identifying why this opportunity would be beneficial for me and how it aligned with my past experiences in sport – more specifically with credentialing. Leigh was a phenomenal colleague to shadow throughout this experience because of her extensive knowledge about credentialing and working as an operations coordinator for college football. She took time out of her busy schedule to prepare me on how to properly document key information for game day EPSN personnel.SM

I learned the importance and purpose of arriving to the game site days in advance and how to assist with the credentialing process.  I worked closely with Leigh to categorize ESPN’s personnel, based on their credential status (Game, Gameday, Operations VIP) and carefully confirmed what kind of access they were granted (on field, locker rooms, press box, etc.).SM

Once game day arrived, our organization paid off as we delivered the credentials to all the ESPN staff. While the teams were warming up, I was asked to help out in the radio booth for both Clemson and Oklahoma. My responsibility in the booth was to make sure that radio announcers’ voices synchronized properly to the camera directly on the other side of the field. During the game, Leigh gave me a tour on the field and explained the different roles of the camera crew and what other members of the ESPN team do. In conclusion, I truly enjoyed every moment and had the greatest, most positive learning experience working at the Orange Bowl with ESPN and Leigh.


13 Concussions

smFormer UConn Football star and current Sport Management graduate student, Casey Cochran shares his story of playing football through multiple concussions and how the 13th diagnosis led him to end his career.  Read the full story.

Alumni Focus: Fernando Carrasquillo – at the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum

Alumni Focus: Fernando Carrasquillo – Steele Internship Program at the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, Summer of 2013

Fernando Carrasquillo (2013)

As a part of a continuing series, we turn the spotlight on members of the UConn Sport Management Program (SMP) Alumni Community, focusing on the diversity of experience and breadth of knowledge they have gained within the industry. Designed to help current and future SMP students learn to navigate and understand the real-world intricacies of sport management, we thank SMP alumni for their valuable contributions and insight. Today, the focus is on UConn alumnus Fernando Carrasquillo (Sport Management, 2013).

Puerto Rico: a Caribbean island and U.S. Commonwealth not only known for its cuisine, beautiful beaches and panoramic views, but also for being an island that lives and breathes baseball. Born and raised in San Juan, it was natural for me to be exposed to baseball through my father and grandfather. Looking back, I wish I had played the sport more and maybe play good enough to make it to Major League Baseball and cement myself in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I know, it’s a long shot, but one can always dream right? Still, I found a way to make it into the Hall of Fame, just not as an inducted player, but instead as a Development Intern for the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum.

I was fortunate to have been selected as one of 15 interns out of over 600 applicants and the only Latino to do so. I had fulfilled of my lifelong dream of stepping foot into Cooperstown, NY and walk into the same building where the likes of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, among others are inducted. Even though it was in the summer of 2013, and no living player was inducted, it was still a wonderful experience just to see all of the legends that have helped make baseball into America’s pastime and to spend a summer breathing into the baseball atmosphere.

As a Development Intern, I got to work all areas from the Ticket Booth, to Membership Services to even presenting artifacts to visitors of the Museum, all contributing to fundraising for the Friends of the Hall of Fame Program. This program funds the Education area, preservation of the hall and general maintenance of the Mecca of Baseball. Going from simple interactions with a father showing his son the heroes he grew up watching to letting people know that I was from Puerto Rico and that we contributed to three Hall of Famers, I realized that the Hall of Fame can go a long way to connecting generations, preserving history and most importantly, honoring excellence. I hope that I could open the doors to more Latinos forming part of this prestigious program while opening the doors to more fellow Huskies to honor our school in such a wonderful experience.

NOTE: You can read an article written for Puerto Rico’s Primera Hora newspaper by clicking here (can be translated through Google Chrome).

Fernando Carrasquillo
SMP Class of 2013

Native American basketball star Shoni Schimmel speaks at UConn

Native American basketball star Shoni Schimmel speaks at UConn

Article written by Max Engel, photo taken by Olivia Stenger, both courtesy of The Daily Campus.

As a part of Native American Heritage Month, Shoni Schimmel spoke at the University of Connecticut’s Student Union Theater on Tuesday night, regarding her experiences as a Native American in the WNBA.

Schimmel was raised on the Umatilla Reservation in Mission, Oregon. She started the evening by reciting some of the ignorant questions she was asked in high school, such as, “Do you guys live in teepees?”

Schimmel described her reservation as a place where “everybody knew each other,” but outside the reservation and in high school she faced discrimination from classmates and teachers alike. When applying to colleges, Schimmel received a remarkably disparaging rejection letter.

“It said, ‘Go back to your reservation,’” she explained.

Schimmel, currently plays for the Atlanta Dream and was featured in a documentary “Off the Rez.” After attending high school in Oregon, she attended college in Louisville, Kentucky, and was drafted into the WNBA when she graduated in 2014. While playing college basketball at Louisville, her sister Jude was among her teammates.

Eventually, President Obama choseJude as a moderator for the 2015 White House Tribal Nations Conference, where she was seated close to the President as he spoke.

“It’s not about who has the nicest car,” Schimmel said, as she gave a background to the more modest mindsets held within her reservation.

Schimmel suggested that injustice towards Native Americans easily slips through the minds of many people, as one of the nuances of race relations in America. However, the general populace is slowly but surely becoming more mindful of the struggles of Native Americans.

An example of this is the documentary “Reel Injun,” which describes the degrading portrayals of Native Americans in film. There is also a significant movement protesting sports teams’ use of Native American mascots, such as the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins.

Regarding the controversy over the Washington Redskins mascot, Schimmel said she disagreed with its use. She noted that the use of such terminology is unusual and egregious within the context of other NFL team names and American professional sports altogether.

Max Engel is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at max.engel@uconn.edu.