Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

My SJI Experience

I drew a blank last week when I was asked to describe my SJI experience in one word. In the video, you’ll see that I said “fantastic.”

Fun fact about me: I hate speaking. I try to think my thoughts through before I open my mouth, but sometimes a bunch of mumbo-jumbo comes out. After some reflection, I’ve finally figured it out.

One word to describe my SJI experience: Essential. This program has really changed my life. Making sure women and minorities have a fair shot at securing a job in the newsroom has been its priority since 1993. I plan to utilize every single piece of advice that was given.

One of the most beneficial things I learned was how to improve my deadline writing. This skill will be critical at my upcoming internship at the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Whether they know it or not, my instructors, classmates and all of our speakers have inspired me to become a better journalist.

Mr. Carter, Ms. Rosenbush and Mr. Lee:

Thank you for giving us an accurate experience of what it’s like to be a journalist in the real world in just a matter of eight days. Your stories, sports checks and tough love were much needed. As a result, I’ve gotten used to checking my news apps first thing in the morning. Thanks for taking a chance on me.

Lisa Salters, Michael Wilbon, Daniel Uthman, Richard Deitsch, Heather Dinich, Greg Bowers, Malcolm Moran, Jesus Ortiz, Cameron Wolfe, Logan Murdock, Daniel Lyght, Jean Neisen, Kaila Burns-Heffner, David Squires and many others:

The wisdom you’ve imparted on us was priceless. You’ve instilled a confidence in me that I’ll always have. I’ll always remember that I belong in the room just as much as anyone else does. Thank you for taking time out of your day to give back to a new generation of journalists.

Alaa, Alanna, Andre, Angel, Cam, Chance, Chris, DeAundra, Jadyn, Souichi, Steven and Tashan:

It’s likely that I won’t be surrounded by so many people from different backgrounds and cultures in the same newsroom, so I appreciated the time we’ve spent this week in Columbia. I’ve learned from each of you, and I can’t wait to see where our careers take us. Who knows, maybe we’ll be at the same company a couple years from now. We are the SJI class of 2018!!

–Micheal Curtis