University of Minnesota

Fall 2016 Winners - Minnesota Winning Team

Jonathan Suomi

Jonathan Suomi

Jonathan graduated in December 2016 with a major in journalism and sociology. Currently, he does not know where his next immediate steps will bring him, but he does know that he will be returning to school in the future to become a professor within the strategic communication field. Otherwise, Jonathan enjoys judging and high school and college speech competitions within Minnesota and looks to find other ways to continue community involvement in the future.

FOX Sports University pushed me like no other program, and it also gave the biggest reward.

This program was such a thrill and gave great experience for starting a career.

FOX Sports U and FOX Sports North were fun to work with, and really showed the challenges and rewards for applying our classroom to the real world.

Ellen Opacich

Ellen Opacich

Ellen Opacich is originally from Lake Zurich, Illinois and has recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Strategic Communication. She is currently pursuing a career in Art Direction and Design and aspires to work at an advertising agency. During her spare time, Ellen enjoys backpacking, hiking, painting, and drawing.

Fox Sports University gives students an opportunity to test their ideas in a professional setting and prepare them for future career skills

I thought this campaign was incredibly rewarding because we were able to learn about the sacrifices military children make on a daily basis and bring their resiliency into the spotlight

I am so excited that our hard work paid off and we have the opportunity to bring our ideas to fruition

Alicia Lees

Alicia Lees

Alicia Lees is from Bloomington, Minnesota. Alicia graduates this upcoming May with a degree in Strategic Communications- with an emphasis in Public Relations. After graduation, Alicia hopes to further her experience in the music and entertainment industry. Currently, she works as an intern at a local music booking agency. Not only this, Alicia hopes to travel the world and gain a lot of life experience.

The Fox Sports University competition challenged us but most importantly, -excited us. We were given a topic that we all weren’t too familiar with (Month of the Military Child) with but as soon as we tackled it, it became apart of our lives.

I am beyond grateful to have ended my Public Relations degree at the U of M with this experience, it felt like we were in an actual agency and I couldn’t of asked for a cooler experience.

The team at Fox Sports University, the National Guard, and Professor Wehrenberg played a huge role in our success. They all motivated us and provided us with the sufficient information we needed to take this project to the top.

Hannah Houg

Hannah Houg

Hannah Houg is a senior at the University of Minnesota studying Strategic Communications with a minor in business leadership. After graduating this coming May, Hannah will continue her passion working with The Burchard Group as an online community manager in Portland, Oregon. Hannah is extremely interested in furthering her career in the online and digital space, teaching and mentoring individuals how to successfully implement new strategies to grow their personal brand. She has a genuine love for people and seeks to help build a community of educated online users.  Apart from being heavily engaged in her work life, Hannah enjoys spending her free time collaborating with her husband on new personal business ideas, cooking, blogging, and attending new development seminars.

Fox Sports University gave me an inside look at the process of nurturing and developing a strong client-agency relationship, while simultaneously encouraging me to cultivate life-long relationships with the people in my team.

This experience was unlike any other. It was refreshing to be treated as professionals and have the opportunity to make the project our own.

I would highly recommend that every college senior participate in a Fox Sports University program. The experience provided me with an unmatched confidence in my work and propelled me into my future career endeavors.


Fall 2016 Project Description

Students at University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications were challenged to design a “cause-marketing” campaign to raise awareness for April, the Month of the Military Child, and to celebrate the relationship between FOX Sports North and the Minnesota National Guard.


Professor Profile



Steve brings more than 35 years of professional strategic communications experience to the faculty, including the last six as CEO of advertising agency Campbell Mithun. Starting in public relations, he shifted to copywriting, but then spent nearly 30 years in account, strategic and agency leadership positions. As head of strategic planning and integration, Steve created many of Campbell Mithun’s suite of strategic planning tools, many of which he uses today to teach Generation and Selection of Communications Strategies in the Professional M.A. Program. His efforts won a Jay Chiat Silver Award for Account Planning in 2008.

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