Master’s Alumni Profile: Kellan Godfrey G’ 22

Kellan Godfrey G’ 22

Newhouse Master’s Program: Advanced Media Management
Current Position: Assistant Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing at Gardner-Webb University Athletics

How did you obtain your current position, and what positions did you hold before it?  

After completing my master’s at Newhouse in July 2022, I worked briefly in communications and marketing at Washington & Jefferson College. I worked in athletic communications prior to Syracuse at Bowling Green State University and Indiana University Bloomington, and I really missed it. I cold applied to various department openings in the summer of 2023 and was fortunate to get this opportunity at Gardner-Webb. It has been an amazing experience and one of the best moves of my career.  

What’s an average day like for you on the job? 

In athletic communications no two days are the same. As a sports information director, I wear many different hats. My assigned sports are men’s and women’s soccer, men’s basketball, women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s tennis. My office days consist of updating game notes, managing my assigned sports on our website, updating social media and organizing and tracking official stats for the NCAA. On game days, I work at my designated position and help whenever anything is needed, whether it is official stats keeping or DV Sport instant replay. Post-game I will manage media requests, send stats where necessary and write the recap for our website.  

How do you feel Newhouse prepared you for your current position?

My program at Newhouse helped me tremendously in many ways, but one specific example I can give is with my content management skills. I have a much better understanding and a keener eye for how our content should be presented to the appropriate audiences whether it is on our website, social media or another form of communication. I purposely worked outside of the sports industry through my graduate school assignments and as an instructional associate, so I have been able to bring this knowledge and apply it back in an industry I am very passionate about.  

Did Newhouse open your eyes to new professions or aspects of your field you may have not considered when applying?  

Absolutely! That is what drew me to the position I had prior to this current one. I know I am capable of using my knowledge and skill sets to work in a wide range of content management positions in the future. But this is the industry that I belong in. I spent enough time out of it to know that my place is in it.  

What features of your graduate program drew you to it? 

What drew me to the advanced media management program in the first place was the versatility it was going to provide me. Coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, I knew I wanted a program that would strengthen the skills I had, while providing me tools to take what I know to any industry if needed.  

Did the Newhouse Career Development Center aid you?

The Career Development Center at Newhouse helped me a lot. Mainly in the presentation of my resume and how to emphasize different skills for different applications. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having multiple resumes. I served as an IA in media law for two semesters at Newhouse and had the opportunity to lead a team to create one of three designated capstone projects in the summer of 2022. I was able to perfect the idea for a Morning Brew style email newsletter for remote workers called “Remote Start.” 

What campus organizations you were involved with while at Newhouse?

I was involved with the Blackstone Launch Pad in the spring of 2022 and won third place in the Raymond von Dran iPrize competition for my newsletter “Remote Start.” I used the competition to fine tune the idea for capstone.  

What are some obstacles or misconceptions about your field? 

I would say that students might think that jobs in sports media or college athletics are glamorous. There is a lot of excitement, but it takes a lot of hard work as well to be great at what you do. I do what I do to build relationships with student athletes, coaches and student workers who are learning from us. 

What moments in your career have been most exciting or defining thus far? 

There are plenty of great moments. My first year as a sports information director I covered the men’s ice hockey team at Bowling Green State University the year that they ended an almost 30-year drought in reaching the NCAA tournament. Some people work their entire careers and never get that experience. I also covered a team that reached the NCAA tournament in my first year in athletic communications at one of my alma maters. Whenever I visit, I still get choked up when I see the 2018-2019 NCAA Tournament season banner in Slater Family Ice Arena.  

What advice do you have for current or incoming students?

I would say to incoming students to ignore the imposter syndrome you might feel from time-to-time. You were accepted to the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University for a reason. Come ready to work hard and expand your thinking in every way possible. You will learn and achieve things you may not believe by the time you are done.  I extend a special thank you to my professors Adam Peruta, Shelly Palmer, Bob Bierman, Jeff Passetti and former professor Ulf Oesterle. I learned a lot from all of them.