KENNESAW, Georgia (April 7, 2022) – When David Cassilo came to Kennesaw State University to teach in 2019, his training as a sports journalist inspired what he saw as an opportunity to connect communications students with professional sports teams at Atlanta to gain valuable work experience.

Cassilo has written over the years for publications such as Bleacher Report, USA Today, Men’s Health Magazine and others. He covered the NBA Finals and the Collegiate Final Four, as well as the Cleveland Cavaliers when LeBron James led them to the NBA Finals.

“Kennesaw State’s location gives us an advantage over some other schools due to our proximity to Truist Park, and we’re much more accessible for our students to get into town,” Cassilo said. “In the first two months here, I contacted all the teams, the media organizations – anyone with a connection to the sport – and just tried to create a pipeline.

Students report seeing the fruits of Cassilo’s labor.

In addition to bringing guest speakers to class to provide students with networking opportunities, some students have filled part-time, paid internship roles with professional Atlanta sports teams.

Cassilo said officials at Atlanta United, Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Dream began asking KSU students to help out during their seasons.

Katie Kleinpeter and Marili Canedo

Marili Canedo, a journalism junior and emerging media specialist, said in her work for Atlanta United that she distributes media references, interacts with fans, transcribes interviews with players and translates some of them from Spanish to English. ‘English.

Canedo also worked for the Atlanta Falcons and said the two team experiences prepared her for a career in sports media when she graduates.

“Getting involved with the teams showed me what it was like to work within a sports organization and gave me opportunities that I didn’t think I could have,” Canedo said. “I thank Professor Cassilo for introducing me to a field that complements my goals and interests.”

Katie Kleinpeter, also a junior journalism student, interned over the summer with the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, helping manage the team’s social media, interacting with fans before games and providing credentials. to the media. She said her role provided networking opportunities and insight into how sports organizations work. And, she said, it helped her earn an internship with KSU Athletics, doing sideline reporting during breaks at basketball and baseball games.

“They see this name of a professional team and they know I have the qualifications to be here,” she said. “I gained a lot of confidence working for the Atlanta Dream.”

Laura Beth Daws, acting director of the School of Communication and Media at the Norman J. Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences, said Cassilo has had a positive impact on journalism students and emerging media.

“Through his leadership and hard work, a number of our students have not only found jobs and internships in the Atlanta sports market, but also a true passion for the field of sports journalism and communications. athletic,” Daws said. “Dr. Cassilo is one of our most popular teachers, no doubt due to the personal attention he gives to students and his willingness to connect them with these phenomenal opportunities.

– By Thomas Hartwell
Pictures of Jason Getz

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global connections, and entrepreneurial spirit attract students from across the country and around the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated (R2) doctoral research institution, placing it among an elite group of only 6% of US colleges and universities with R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit