Herriman high graduate reports from Super Bowl LIV as part of her college experience
Mar 02, 2020 10:23AM
By Stephanie Yrungaray
Riverton’s Morgan Mitchell with classmates at the Super Bowl LIVE experience second from the left. (Photo courtesy of Morgan Mitchell)
By Stephanie Yrungaray | [email protected]
Within a year, former Riverton resident Morgan Mitchell went from following Super Bowl trends on social media as part of her sports public relations class at Emerson College to working on location in Miami for Super Bowl LIV doing the exact same things she had studied.
“Sports have always been such a big factor of my life,” Mitchell said. “Being able to attend this event was something that a year ago I wouldn’t have imagined happening.”
Thanks to her professor’s career history as the public relations director for two previous Super Bowls, Mitchell found herself with the opportunity of a lifetime.
Mitchell was one of 21 students who enrolled in Emerson’s Super Bowl LIV experience Program, a hybrid between a study abroad program an internship and a college course.
Familiar with the volunteer programs typically found at the Super Bowl, Dr. Maria Scott decided to create a special program for communications students at Emerson to get real-world experience working at one of the biggest sporting events in the U.S.
“[I’m] a big proponent of experience learning, but as an educator, there are a couple of things I worry about,” Scott said. “On the educational side, we want them to get real-world experience; however, we want it to be balanced with the same level of care they get from a professor who understands the educational value.”
Scott combined experience learning with access to professors when she traveled with the students to the Super Bowl and was there to answer any questions they had as they came up.
As part of her experience, Mitchell worked in the social media command center for the Super Bowl Host Committee monitoring and creating content for its Instagram and Twitter accounts @MIASBLIV. She also served as a liaison between the NFL transportation and members of the media and was able to work at the Super Bowl LIVE experience for fans. Mitchell said one of her favorite parts of the Super Bowl experience was attending a press conference.
“I learned so much more about how the importance of preparing questions,” Mitchell said. “I was impressed with the thought that went into [the reporters’] questions. I was also impressed by how the commissioner dodged, but also answered, political questions. He would give people the answer they wanted without taking it too far.”
One thing that she believes would surprise people about the Super Bowl is the fact that it isn’t just a one-day event.
“The Super Bowl isn’t just a single day like people often believe it is,” said Mitchell. “It is a long week; everyone involved spends a lot of time working.”
Students in the Super Bowl Experience returned home before the actual game, since there weren’t valuable volunteer positions available on game day. However, Mitchell said she saw plenty of celebrities.
“I saw a lot of famous people, lots of NFL players,” Mitchell said. “We saw Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott and Terry Bradshaw.”
Although she grew up listening to the broadcasts the week before the Super Bowl, visiting Radio Row with her credentials live was something hard to describe.
“Dr. Scott explained what it was like before we went there,” Mitchell said. “But I was kind of in awe of everything. It doesn’t hit you until you are there.”
Mitchell, who graduated from Herriman High School in 2018 is a softball player at Emerson college. She is currently majoring in sports communication but is applying to the new public relations program. She said her experience working at the Super Bowl has helped her feel ready for future opportunities.
“It was an incredible learning experience,” she said. “I’m now comfortable taking internships knowing I have worked at a major event. I know that I am able to grasp what I’m supposed to do quickly.