Ithaca College Will Make You Ready
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School of Health Sciences and Human Performance | Sport Media
Viewers of ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown regularly see Chris Berman, Keyshawn Johnson, and Mike Ditka analyzing that day’s upcoming games. But before any game highlights can make it to viewers’ screens at home, producers and production assistants work behind the scenes to select the best shots, plays, and clips. For IC sport media graduate and ESPN associate producer Gavin Cote ’12, it’s a team effort.
The production process, Gavin said, starts with a Thursday morning meeting and heats up as the wee hours of Sunday morning approach. That’s when Gavin and his colleagues start putting the final touches on their shot selections, voiceovers, edits, music, and sponsor messages.
“A three-hour show doesn’t come together by trying to be a hero and doing everything yourself,” Gavin said. “You can’t be afraid to ask for help. I learned that at IC.”
Some of that learning came from doing basketball play-by-play for ICTV and hosting Gridiron Report, a weekly update on Bomber football.
“It was awesome to host a show my junior year, but I really didn’t know what I was doing. Fortunately, a lot of great people helped me with editing and production decisions.”
And, because IC’s sport media major includes courses in liberal arts, sport theory, advertising, and sport video production, help also came from the classroom.
“I wouldn’t have gotten my foot in the door at ESPN without the background I got doing Gridiron Report and taking production classes in the Park School and writing classes in the sport media department,” Gavin said. “Having all that on my resume led to a production internship at ESPN the summer before my senior year.”
The network liked his work and offered him a full-time job the following spring—a month and a half before he graduated. After doing NBA highlights for the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat, Gavin now helps decide what weekly highlights NFL fans get to see.
“Production skills, working under deadline pressure, focusing on internships, developing writing skills, making contacts—everything I experienced at IC was relevant to what I’m doing now. Don’t think you can’t work at a certain place because it’s ESPN or NBC. I’m building on the skills I went to college for, and I’m getting paid to do something I love: watch sports.”
Many young musicians have role models—artists they look up to and respect—whose success fuels their growing aspirations for musical achievement. Not many get the chance to have one of their most influential role models as a mentor and teacher. But at Ithaca College, Jordan Morton got just that opportunity.
“Nicholas Walker had so much to do with my development as a musician and as a professional personality. He opened up the horizon to what I could accomplish,” Jordan says of her double bass professor. “Nicholas treats his studio like family. He cares about and guides each one of us throughout our entire undergraduate career and remains a valuable mentor and professional contact after graduation. Without him, I would definitely not be going to Paris.”
Jordan is the recipient of the Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship and residency at the Fondation des Etats-Unis in Paris, France. Four exceptional American artists and musicians are selected for the award each year. Through the scholarship, Jordan will pursue a year of private study under the tutelage of François Rabbath—a contemporary French double bass player, soloist, and composer—who also taught Nicholas Walker.
“For me, Paris will be an apprenticeship with the teacher of my teacher. I’m going straight to the source, becoming a part of the tradition. I’m going to absorb everything I can from François and explore the possibilities of my own musical voice. Now is the time to do that—to build on the foundation that Ithaca College has provided.”
Through close guidance, dedicated training, and industry connections from her professor and mentor, Jordan graduated well prepared for an innovative and fulfilling musical career—and she can’t wait to share her passion with the world. “I feel ready to connect with the public and to revitalize soulful, spiritual, intellectual music, because we need that as a culture whether we know it or not.”
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