Friday, March 3, 2017

Student Spotlight: Jamie Cushman

My sit-down with classmate Jamie Cushman, who was recently published by ESPN

Senior Jamie Cushman discovered what he wanted to study in college during his first semester at UMass. As an undeclared major, he took a suggestion from an advisor who recommended an introductory journalism course. The class was a good fit for him, and he eventually declared his major as journalism with a concentration in sports.

He anticipates his bachelor’s degree in May, but already has a byline on the website of the worldwide leader in sports: ESPN.

During the fall semester of his senior year, Jamie took Steve Fox’s Sports Journalism course, which partnered with the Hampshire Gazette and allowed students to develop their reporting skills while covering athletics at Amherst College and Amherst Regional High School. Cushman’s final project caught the attention of an important guest speaker.

“A former professor of mine who works at ESPN, Jena Janovy, came to visit our class and asked us if any of us were working on anything to do with the national anthem, and my story had to do with the national anthem protests,” said Cushman.

His piece, titled “Our Flag Was Still There,” discussed the Amherst Regional High School girls’ volleyball team. While the team kneeled in protest during the National Anthem, one senior remained standing.

“[Janovy] took an interest in my story, and she passed it along to the editors at ESPN,” said Cushman. 

Janovy emailed him at the end of the semester to inform him that they might use it. Ten days later an ESPN editor confirmed that they wanted to run the piece as part of a series about the National Anthem protests.

The editing process just took a few weeks and ESPN had it on their website by the end of January. The Gazette never posted Cushman’s story, but he was content with a link to the series on ESPN’s homepage.

>You can read "Our Flag Was Still There" here<

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