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Alumni Spotlight: Chris Sabo ’11, Producer/Director for Ole Miss Athletics

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Alumnus Chris Sabo has only been out of college for a little more than two years, but he’s already standing out in the sports communication field. With two of his former colleagues at Ohio University, Sabo ’11 received four Emmys® at The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Ohio Valley Chapter’s 49th Annual Ohio Valley Regional Emmy® Awards ceremony in mid-July. At the time, Sabo was assistant director of multimedia marketing at the university. He now works at the University of Mississippi.

sabo-emmySabo and his Ohio University colleagues took the Sports Feature award for “The Scotty Hasting Story,” a piece on wounded war veteran Scotty Hastings, the brother of former OU football player Corey Hastings, and the Sports Daily/ Weekly Program award for “Relentless: An Inside Look at Ohio Football,” a five-episode program that showcased OU football’s preseason. Sabo and his colleagues also won Emmys® in the categories of Sports Photography (specifically for work through the 2012 football season) and Sports Editing for their combined efforts throughout the 2012 athletic season.

“We were just excited that we had the opportunity to be nominated,” Sabo said.

Having this opportunity did not spring up overnight. Since his time at Hiram College, Sabo has been making connections and utilizing his network to get into the sports communication field.

While at Hiram, he majored in communication, played football and built up his film résumé by using his self-taught skills to put together videos for Hiram’s Admission Office, Athletic Department, and College Relations.

Throughout his undergraduate career, Sabo worked closely with his adviser, Audrey Cunningham, assistant professor of communication. She helped him apply for an internship with NFL Films, which he completed the summer of his junior year. Cunningham also encouraged Sabo to apply for the NCAA Jim McKay Scholarship.

Each year, the scholarship is awarded to one male and one female from across the country who show they have the potential to make a contribution to the sports communication field. Being from a small Division III school, Sabo did not expect to receive the national award, but he was selected as the 2011 male recipient.

After graduating from Hiram College, Sabo went to the University of Akron where he received a master’s degree in sports administration in 2012. Upon graduation from the University of Akron, Sabo interned at Ohio University, which eventually led to his four Emmy® awards.

Continuing his career in the sports communication field, Sabo is now working at the University of Mississippi as a full-time producer director in the Ole Miss Athletics department. He is planning to use his Jim McKay Scholarship money to get another master’s degree in Mississippi.

Looking back, Sabo said his relationship with his adviser was essential to his success.

“Having a personal relationship with your teachers is critical,” Sabo said. “These people have been around the block. Students need to pick their brains and learn as much as they can.”

His advice for Hiram students is to stay hungry and to be prepared to take advantage of opportunities. Sabo said that it is not about being lucky, or at least not about being lucky in the traditional sense.

“Luck is when the opportunity arises and you’re prepared to answer that opportunity,” he said.

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