Alumni and Friends

Pro hockey = Media jobs for alumni in broadcasting, photography, video, social media and more

When the puck drops on the National Hockey League regular season on October 10, Scripps College of Communication alumni will showcase a wide range of media skills developed at Ohio University.

For most of the regular season, only 23 players are allowed on NHL rosters. But the number of off-the-ice personnel is much larger. For example, nearly 300 people work for the Columbus Blue Jackets to promote the team, sell tickets and engage the community.


Colin Mayr (BSVC ’22) graduated last year from Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication after working for Ohio University Athletics and the student-run publication The Post. Mayr is an assistant photographer for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Scripps College of Communication alumni also photograph hockey for leading news outlets. After the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup finals in 2021, the Tampa Bay Times principal hockey photographer Dirk Shadd (BSJ ‘94) had nearly 22,000 images on the eight cameras he used inside Amalie Arena.

“When you shoot 21,973 photographs at the final game of the Stanley Cup, selecting one image for the cover for our new Tampa Bay Times’ coffee table book is both easier and harder. It’s easier because our principal Lightning photographer Dirk Shadd, one of America’s best sports photographers, gave us so many options,” wrote Mark Katches in the Tampa Bay Times, July 10, 2021.

The New York Times coverage of hometown New York Rangers in the 2022 playoffs led with a photo by Ohio University alumna Sarah Stier (BSVC ‘18) of Getty Images. The same article includes an Associated Press photo by Frank Franklin II, who also attended Ohio University.

Social media

Since 2019, alumna Rachel Wallbrown (BSJ ’17) has been the social media coordinator for the Cincinnati Cyclones, an affiliate of the New York Rangers. While in Athens, she worked at WOUB before graduating with a broadcast journalism degree.

Current students also work in pro hockey. Sophomore Emma Perry at the School of Media Arts and Studies joins the live social coordinator team for the Blue Jackets for the 2023-24 season.

“Words can’t explain how incredibly excited I am,” Perry said.

Digital media

Nathan Wiseman stands in front of a Columbus Blue Jackets backdrop with a hockey stick slung over his shoulders
Nathan Wiseman, BSJ ’17 Columbus Blue Jackets Manager, Digital Media and Content Producer

As a student, Nathan Wiseman (BSJ ’17) was a multimedia sports reporter at WOUB and completed TV news internships in Huntington, WV and Columbus, OH. He joined the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2022 as a content producer and manager for digital media.

Wiseman’s on-the-job skills include video production and editing, social media, copywriting and photography. He leads a small team that places content on digital platforms, produces and edits a short-form digital show and collaborates with other Columbus Blue Jackets departments to develop a digital content calendar.

Hockey and media/the press

Hailey Hunter stands rinkside at the Pittsburgh Penguins arena, holding a microphone
Rink-side reporter Hailey Hunter, BSJ ’17, SportsNet Pittsburgh

Scripps College of Communication alumna Hailey Hunter (BSJ ’17) is the new rink-side reporter covering the Pittsburgh Penguins for SportsNet Pittsburgh. Her resume features nearly four years of experience at WOUB including hockey beat reporter.

At the Pittsburgh Penguins affiliate team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, alumnus Nick Hart (BSJ ’15) is the director of media relations. Meanwhile, Alex Utano (BSJ ’16) is the voice of the Maryland Black Bears in the North American Hockey League.

The Rink Live is a comprehensive news site for college hockey and prospects; Aaron Westendorf (BSJ ’12) serves as the Business Development Manager.

Hockey and academia

Two men pose for a photograph in New York Islanders t-shirts
Nick Hirshon (Ph.D. ’16) (left), author of “We Want Fish Sticks,” with former Islanders goalie Eric Fichaud, who wrote the foreword to the book.

E.W. Scripps School of Journalism alumnus Nick Hirshon (Ph.D. ’16) wrote his dissertation in 2015 and 2016 on the controversial rebranding of the New York Islanders in the mid-1990s, which included adopting a fisherman logo similar to the mascot for Gorton’s fish sticks. Hirshon converted the dissertation into a book “We Want Fish Sticks: The Bizarre and Infamous Rebranding of the New York Islanders,” published in 2018 by the University of Nebraska Press.

A New York Islanders season ticket holder, Dr. Hirshon is now an associate professor of communication at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey.

“Hockey is a great sport, and the Scripps School offered the perfect environment for my research,” Hirshon said. “Everyone at Ohio University was so supportive, from the librarians at Alden to my classmates to the professors on my dissertation committee — particularly my mentor, Dr. Marilyn Greenwald.”

October 9, 2023
Ken Klein