Sports Communication Speaker Series Announced

pictureProviding students a real-world experience that takes them beyond the textbook is part of the goal of Ferris State University’s Sports Communication speaker series.

Ferris’ Spring 2011 Sports Communication course, being taught by Sandra Alspach, professor of Communication, examines how participants and observers of sports communicate. As part of their work, students of the course and the academic minor break down how the sports industry has evolved and how it grows as a cultural phenomenon. Students study how sports organizations function through the integration of athletes, managers and audiences through communication.

The 300-level course, the capstone course for the Sports Communication minor, meets Monday and Wednesday from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. in IRC Room 115.

“We are fortunate that so many staff, alumni and friends of Ferris sports have stepped forward to participate in class discussions with the students in the new Sports Communication course,” Alspach said.

The Sports Communication speaker series continues

  • Wednesday, Feb. 16, Gilbert Bransford will speak to the class. Bransford, a graduate of Ferris, is an ESPN northeast collegiate and professional basketball statistician.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 23, Leah Goode, a recruiting officer at Ferris with a strong background in sports information, and Will Goode, the university’s Athletics advancement officer, will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 23.
  • Wednesday, March 2, a sports announcing guest panel will be featured. The panel includes Sandy Gholston, Jason DaDay, Dominic Hennig and Monte Johnson.
  • Wednesday, March 23, Askia Allison, international kickboxing champion and coach will be the featured speaker. Allison is a graduate of Ferris.
  • Monday, March 28, Ira Childress, NCAA assistant director of leadership development, will be the featured speaker. The presentation from Childress, a graduate of Ferris, is set for Room 111 in the College of Business. (NOTE: This event was rescheduled from earlier in the semester.)
  • Wednesday, Mar. 30 Grand Rapids Press Sports Editor Mary Ullmer will address the class.
  • Wednesday, April 13, head coach of the Ferris hockey coach Bob Daniels will speak to the class.

“I’m especially grateful to (Ferris) Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger, who has worked with us to identify and coordinate speakers,” Alspach said. “Together, in our first year, we are building a strong base for this program to grow and provide a strong bridge between the academic program and the athletic program at Ferris.”

For more information, contact Sandra Alspach at

15 February, 2011