Communication Students Mentored by Industry Experts

This story is featured in the Fall 2019 edition of the HPU Magazine. Discover below how HPU students in the Nido R. Qubein Scool of Communication have access to industry experts as a part of their education.

HPU’s Nido R. Qubein School of Communication connects students with a network of mentorship needed to excel in the workforce.

What do Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks and HPU students have in common?

The opportunity to work with Cynt Marshall.

Marshall is the CEO of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. She is also HPU’s Sports Executive in Residence. Housed within the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication is the sport management major, a program crafted for students who are looking to step away from the sidelines and into the business side of sports.

On a Wednesday in March, Marshall walked into a classroom filled with sport management majors, clapped her hands together and waved her arms.

“Well hello there,” she said. “I’m Cynt Marshall. But more importantly, I want to know who you are. Let’s get to it.”

On that day, HPU sport management students gained a mentor in Marshall.


HPU’s Sports Executive in Residence

Marshall was named HPU’s Sports Executive in Residence in early 2019, about a year after taking on her role as the Dallas Mavericks CEO.

She brings with her experience in navigating complex organizational situations and effectively communicating amongst teams — a few of the life skills that set HPU communication majors apart.

During one small-group session, HPU student Aidan Jensen, who’s held internships with ESPN and the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, raised his hand.

“If I want to be a team owner by the time I’m 50 or 60 years old, where do I start?” he asked.

Marshall shook her head and smiled at Jensen.

“First things first — take the limits off,” she said. “Why do you have to be 50 or 60? Don’t set limits for yourself. You can do it by the time you’re younger. It happens all the time. I work for a man who’s done it.”

With each student she met, Marshall always shared her contact information.

Cassandra Diaz had just completed an internship with the NBA when Marshall visited, and the two formed a lasting bond.

“When you have someone such as Cynt Marshall and her status in the sports industry come speak with you, you get a clear idea of the skills you need and the things you need to improve on to assess yourself and become a better person in that industry,” says Diaz. “I’m humbled by the opportunity, especially knowing the history of HPU and what its values are,” says Marshall, whose son graduated from HPU. “I’m very familiar with this extraordinary place, and to be a part of it means a lot to me.”

Marshall isn’t the only industry expert guiding students inside the School of Communication. There’s also famed Boston Globe

columnist Bob Ryan, who in the past year joined the university as HPU’s Sports Reporter in Residence.

For recent HPU graduate Collin Giuliani, the chance to work with Ryan was a game-changer.


Meeting a Media Legend

Growing up, Giuliani came home from school and turned his family’s television to ESPN at 5 p.m. for “Around the Horn with Bob Ryan.”

He idolized Ryan’s work.

Just a few weeks ahead of his May graduation, Giuliani, a sport communication major, was presented with the School of Communication’s first-ever Bob Ryan Sports Reporter of the Year award.

It was the culmination of his work in and out of the classroom as both a broadcaster for HPU’s Sportslink, a student-run organization that covers HPU athletics, and as a sports writer and editor for HPU’s student newspaper, the Campus Chronicle.

Giuliani takes a lot of pride in the award, especially considering its namesake.

Today, Giuliani calls Ryan a mentor. He’s worked directly with Ryan during Ryan’s numerous visits to campus. It’s an opportunity he says he never thought he’d have.

“I had the pleasure of getting to know Bob Ryan during several occasions at HPU, and both times, it was an amazing experience,” says Giuliani. “The chance to talk sports with him, considering his experience and the number of games that he’s covered, was eye-opening.”

Giuliani chose HPU because of the hands-on experience he knew he’d have inside the School of Communication. Small class sizes and innovative work spaces drew him there. The mentorship he received from professors and industry experts propelled him to where he is now.

Today, Giuliani is pursuing a sport law degree at Arizona State University — a passion he uncovered thanks to his time in the School of Communication.

“My HPU experience helped me unlock my passion for writing and being involved in the sports industry,” says Giuliani. “Professors within the school were always pushing me to stretch my abilities and step beyond my comfort zone. Applying the skills I’ve learned to a law degree is my way of doing just that.”

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