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Two JEM Students Experience IRTS Summer Fellowships

Danielle Clark and othersTwo JEM students took part in the International Radio and Television Society (IRTS) Foundation’s summer fellowship program in New York City. Justin Crawford (BS/JEM ‘18) served his fellowship with Cox Media Group (CMG) as a digital talent specialist and continues in that position for the next year. Danielle Clark (BS/JEM ’18) served her fellowship with the Sinclair Broadcast Group as a marketing, partnerships & ad sales intern.

The IRTS fellowship program offers an expense-paid summer fellowship in New York City to students from around the nation. This year 38 students were chosen from approximately 1,500+ applicants to participate in this highly selective program offering an immersive media industry learning experience. Larry Patrick (MS/C&I ’73 and CCI Honorary Board of Visitors Member) provided a sponsorship again this year to help CCI students attend.

Photo: Rajah Maples (IRTS Former Fellow and Donor), Joyce Tudryn (CEO IRTS Foundation), Danielle Clark, Darren Finnie (Head of Marketing and Partnerships for Sinclair Media Networks & Clark’s internship supervisor)

Clark is now pursuing a master’s degree in advertising and brand responsibility at the University of Oregon and Crawford continues his Cox Media fellowship for the rest of the year.

In her own words, Danielle Clark shares her thoughts on her IRTS fellowship experience. “My time as an IRTS Fellow this summer was my greatest professional development experience to date. The Fellowship positively challenged me by pushing me to dive straight into the New York media industry. Through the program, I was able to participate in an ad sales and marketing internship for a national broadcast company, improve my personal skills through mock interviews, practice networking and conduct several informational interviews with top media professionals. One of the highlights of the program that I found most helpful was the opportunity to meet executives and former fellows at weekly company sessions. The sessions were specifically designed to give us more insight into different areas of the industry and different company cultures. Having the opportunity to hear about the career paths of the executives and recent fellows and learning about different opportunities in the industry, beyond the traditional routes, really helped me understand the path I want to take when I finish graduate school next summer. The incredible people I met this summer have become both inspirations and mentors. 

My specific internship placement also allowed me to gain incredible real-life experience by taking on large projects such as creating a full business proposal for launching the network social media accounts, which I was able to present to the top executives in our office. The opportunities I had from this internship taught me numerous skills that I will carry with me throughout my career. The program gave me the flexibility to explore areas in which I was most interested and wanted to learn more about. Going into the program, I became very interested in both media research and brand responsibility marketing. My internship allowed me to develop both of these interests into skills by teaching me how to use MRI and allowing me to create business development proposals for advertisers utilizing their corporate social responsibility practices.

This fully-funded summer in New York City changed my life and future career in the media industry.My participation in the program has allowed me to better understand the media industry both on a micro and macro level, so that I can better contribute to the ever-evolving media landscape. It also taught me how to navigate the fast-paced work environment the city offers and presented new options for me to explore as I dive into my career. The most incredible part of the experience is that I left with a group of people and a set of skills that will last a lifetime, not just the nine weeks of summer 2018. The IRTS Foundation and its donors are incredibly generous in providing this life changing experience. It was great having two CCI Vols represented this year!”

Justin Crawford’s first week was spent in New York for IRTS orientation and then Atlanta for orientation at CMG’s headquarters.  “I had the opportunity to network with industry leaders almost immediately,” said Crawford. “I am very thankful to have this fellowship and look forward to the coming months.”

In addition to continuing his work with CMG, Crawford picks up freelance work as a reporter/videographer with Young Hollywood and does part-time social media work for Celebrity Café (a celebrity and entertainment news outlet in NYC.)


2018 Danielle Clark, graduate student, University of Oregon
2018 Justin Crawford, digital talent specialist, Cox Media Group
2017 Nicholas Lewandowski, sales assistant, Scripps Networks Interactive
2016 Chandler Condrone, graduate student, Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications
2004 Neely Butler, small business owner
2003 Shelley Massey, sales representative, Eli Lilly
2001 Laura Lefler Herzog, former deputy communications director, Governor Bill Haslam’s Office
2000 Derrall Stalvey, news director, WRCB-TV, Chattanooga NBC
1995 Wendy Painter Bishop, online copy editor, Jewelry Television
1993 Victoria (Tori) Skullman Blasé, supervisor & executive producer, CNN/Time Warner
1993 John Wood, celebrity talent executive producer, E! Networks
1992 Tracy Sabo, news director, KTUU-TV, Anchorage, AK
1991 Robert Turner, Freelance Social Media Strategist
1988 Edward (Trey) Fabacher, former director of sales, WTVM-TV Columbus, GA