Students gear up to cover Super Bowl preview week

February 03, 2023

Student Santino Maione interviews Rob Mendez

Five students from Quinnipiac’s Ability Media and Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network are gearing up to cover the events leading up to Super Bowl LVII this month in Arizona.

The students will be working to cover players and celebrities who participate in the festivities, producing a variety of multimedia content and a daily broadcast for those with disabilities.

“Our mission is to bring representation of people with different abilities to all forms of social media,” said Aaron Roberts ’22, MFA ’23, director of operations for Ability Media. “We strive to be inclusive and with a staff of students who are differently abled.”

Roberts said he is most excited to create high-quality content with a fast turnaround time in a real-world scenario.

“Quinnipiac has given me endless connections and experiences to grow myself and my career further,” said Carly Mac Manus ’23, MBA ’24. “Working with Ability Media is something I hold close to my heart after growing up with an unseen learning disability. The impact we make on the disabled community and sharing their story is profound. It’s surreal that I get these opportunities and experiences at only 21 years old as a college student.”

In addition to covering the activities of radio row and various press events, the students will cover events like Snoop Dogg’s Stars and Stripes charity flag football game, the Dave Stevens/Luis Zendejas Ability Football Camp, the Leigh Steinberg Super Bowl Party.

“I have been a lifelong NFL fan and have dreamed of an opportunity like this for as long as I can remember,” said Emily Sweeney ’23, MS ’24, a member of QBSN. “My courses at Quinnipiac, along with my involvement with QBSN and Q30-TV, have helped prepare me for this experience by giving me the opportunities to dive into real-world scenarios like making professional content.”

Along with creating inclusive content, the team will cover a range of topics, including different abilities and how it impacts NFL players and accessibility at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, home of the Cardinals.

“This will be my second time attending the events leading up to the Super Bowl with Ability Media,” said Santino Maione ’23, MS ’24. “Last year I had the opportunity to write various articles on adaptive sports. I was able to interview some star players, including Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, and I hope to interview more big names this year. The hands-on experience I’ve gotten from organizations such as Q30-TV has prepared me for real-world opportunities like this.”

Dave Stevens, professional in residence in the School of Communications, said that the program enables students to gain experiences that benefit their career path.

“This program gives students with seen and unseen disabilities the opportunity to cover stories and events that pertain to the largest minority in the world — with the smallest voice,” said Stevens. “We have a mixture of students with and without disabilities working together for one cause: They experience life on all sides of the gamut.”

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