Students go for the gold

What do the University of Notre Dame, Syracuse University, Ithaca College, the University of Southern California, and Bradley University have in common with the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London? An elite cadre of NBC Olympic interns will be selected from these institutions by July to fill a variety of production roles in London and New York during a three-to-five-week period next summer.

Rob Landau, senior vice president for NBC Universal Sports Group, conducted an orientation session before individual interviews.

Above:Sports communication major HOLLIE HUNTLEY ’14 takes part in a mock interview with MICHELLE NOE ’98 before her interview for an Olympic internship with NBC.

The path toward Olympic communications internships began in May 2010. Department of Communication chairman Dr. Paul Gullifor and his students visited NBC during an interim expedition to New York City and laid the groundwork to bring Bradley into the highly selective Olympic internship competition. “Bradley’s long tradition of educating top broadcasters and our distinct sports communication program convinced the network to add Bradley to the 2011 talent pool,” said Gullifor.

Once Bradley was selected to participate, the campus community quickly rose to the challenge. Twelve alumni volunteers from the Bradley University Communication Alumni Network (BU-CAN), under the leadership of KELLY KOLTON ’05 and REGGIE BUSTINZA ’03, conducted 45-minute mock interviews for 43 finalists over a six-day period. The Smith Career Center provided essential interviewing tips and resume and cover letter writing workshops, while communication faculty critiqued videotaped interviews.

On April 28, when NBC representatives arrived on the Hilltop, the students were primed to compete. “We were the final university NBC visited,” said Gullifor, “and I like being in the position of ‘closer.’ Now we wait to hear who earned these highly coveted internships with one of the world’s greatest media organizations at the world’s premier sporting event.”

Project Springboard 2011 winner

CASSIE MEYER ’11 of Knotty Outdoors, a company created to give hunters a modern alternative to apparel and accessories, won the fifth annual Project Springboard business plan competition in April.

Meyer was awarded a package valued at more than $100,000, which included a $10,000 cash prize, office space at the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center, marketing consultation, insurance advice, legal services, and accounting technology. The project was selected from five finalists who presented to a panel of judges.

Kollecto, an online-based property management website that aims to make paying rent quick and convenient, took second place and earned a $5,000 cash prize. The team is made up of SUNGGIN KANG ’11, LUKE LANCASTER ’11, and TOM MENENDEZ ’11.

Longtime faculty members retire

The end of the spring semester marked the beginning of retirement for several esteemed faculty members. Five of the retiring professors have been on the faculty for 35 years or more. Together, they represent more than 250 years of teaching at the University. The year faculty members began at Bradley is listed with their names and departments:

  • Dr. Nina Collins, family and consumer sciences, 1968
  • Dr. William Hall, political science, 1969
  • Dr. James Seckler, civil engineering and construction, 1970
  • Dr. Arnold Ness, industrial and manufacturing engineering and technology, 1974
  • Dr. William Walker*, foreign language, 1976
  • Dr. Mahmood Haghighi, computer science and information systems, 1984
  • Laura Garfinkel, communication, 1998
  • Dr. George Krull, accounting, 2000
  • Dr. Robert Bolla, Graduate School dean/associate provost for research, 2005

*retired earlier in the academic year