My roots in the communication industry began in sports. I started my career as a part-time “outfielder” in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle sports department.
Working in the world of sports can be tough. Sporting events typically take place on nights and weekends—when most of us hope to be spending time with family and friends. So I don’t envy Sports Information Directors Steve Jaynes and Joe Venniro—who practically live on campus during the academic year. But every now and then I get an itch to return to my roots. And I get to occasionally satisfy it by helping out our sports information team.
During a recent meeting, I volunteered to chronicle a day in the life of one of our hockey players. I saw it as a chance to do something different and get to know a key member of the group that took RIT on a magical ride to the NCAA Frozen Four last season.
What did I learn? Our hockey players, and RIT student-athletes in general, work hard. It’s their only option if they want to succeed on the playing surface and in the classroom. And that’s exactly what they do. While the Tigers were on their way to the Frozen Four, they managed to maintain a stellar 3.25 team grade point average. It’s not easy. I met RIT hockey co-captain Chris Haltigin at 5:45 a.m., just minutes after he woke up. His day didn’t end until after midnight, just hours before it would start all over again.
And I thought I worked hard when I was in college.
Chris is a testament to what is right about collegiate athletics. He’s a leader who has earned the respect of his teammates. He dreams of winning a national championship and aspires to go to medical school. Many students would balk at the notion of being followed around by an RIT staff member all day, especially one toting a small video camera and a notepad. Not Chris—not if it would help his team and his school. And when it was all over he quipped, “Hey, it wasn’t so bad. I felt like I was on MTV Cribs all day.”
An official “diary” of Haltigin’s day will come in a few weeks, just before the hockey team’s home opener at Blue Cross Arena. But here’s a sneak peek at a video I produced (with editing help from Kelly Downs and Paul Stella) to accompany the story:
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