University of Southern California

Spring 2017 Winners

Rachel Ramos

Rachel Ramos

Rachel Ramos recently graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master of Science degree in Journalism. She previously attended California State University, Fullerton where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism. She has a passion for storytelling and hopes to become a broadcast reporter for a local TV news station. Rachel’s sports background is in competitive cheerleading, dance and gymnastics. She loved the challenging opportunity at Fox Sports U to channel her creative energy into a unique sport like NASCAR.

Everyone at FOX Sports U has been nothing but helpful and encouraging. They have all offered us a true real-world experience. The Fox Sports U team provided great constructive criticism that has helped us grow and will help us be ahead of the game in our future careers.

I loved the opportunity to not only work on an idea for NASCAR, but attend the racetrack and see what the broadcast actually looks like behind the scenes.

I’m not even a business major or even planning on going into sports, but the tools I’ve been given during this program will help me go far in my career as a journalist and as a professional.

Connor McGlynn

Connor McGlynn

Connor McGlynn is from Philadelphia and recently graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Broadcast and Digital Journalism and a minor in Sports Media Studies. While at USC, McGlynn diversified himself across sports coverage, acting as the Sports Director of Annenberg Media– the student-produced television news outlet, writing for as a football analyst and held roles as producer and on-air host for Sports SCene, a weekly show analyzing USC athletics among other activities. After graduating in May, McGlynn plans on entering the sports media realm in either an on-air or digital content producer role. Outside of covering sports, McGlynn spends his time playing a variety of games with friends ranging from pick-up basketball to bowling to curling, as well as cooking and trying different restaurants.

Working with the group from FOX Sports U was one of the more hands-on experiences I’ve had in a class during my four years at USC. They challenged us to be creative, innovative and comprehensive in coming up with our project, all tools that will serve well in any project in the future.

The FOX Sports U NASCAR project was unique and put us into the heart of a professional setting. It was the first time I’ve experienced an instance where we were able to take the lessons we learned in class and immediate apply them in a real-world situation.

It is one thing to create a presentation for class, but being able to make a project you know will be evaluated by some of the leaders of an industry-leading organization is invaluable. From conception to delivery, participating in FOX Sports U was a one-of-a-kind experience.

Kevin McAllister

Kevin McAllister

Kevin is from Mansfield, Massachusetts and graduated from the University of Southern California in 2017 with degrees in Broadcast and Digital Journalism and Political Science. He is currently based out of New York as a Video Audience Development Associate at the Wall Street Journal, focusing on analytics and trends in multimedia content. Beyond journalism, he enjoys being outside, watching and talking about sports and eating great food. After working for a company, he hopes to create a new product that will bridge the widening gap between news organizations and their respective audiences in order to restore trust in the media through simplicity and informational accessibility.

FOX Sports U’s program is a perfect dive into business development. It forced me to identify opportunities for improvement and think critically about how to solve them.

I was offered real life experience in the classroom and got feedback from professionals, not only about the product itself, but about effective ways to pitch ideas to executives in the future.

FOX Sports provided me an opportunity to indulge curiosity and learn about the aspects of the media industry that I wouldn’t have normally thought about.

Julia Adams

Julia Adams

Julia Adams is from Pacific Palisades, California. She is a sophomore Broadcast Journalism major and Sports Media Studies minor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Julia is an aspiring sports broadcaster and was a head sports anchor for Annenberg TV News this past semester. She also has worked in Athletic Development for USC since the start of her freshman year. Julia is an avid USC football fan and never misses a home game.

It was such an incredible opportunity as a student to present an original idea to FOX Sports professionals who are spearheading the growth of sports media and technology.

I really enjoyed learning more about NASCAR through this program, which is a sport I knew nothing about beforehand, and producing a product that could potentially be used to enhance NASCAR viewership.

FOX Sports U program provides invaluable, hands-on experience for the students involved. The NASCAR project was one of the most rewarding experiences of my college-career so far.

Marissa Deutsch

Marissa Deutsch

Marissa Deutsch is a Master’s candidate at USC’s Annenberg School for Journalism. After graduation, she hopes to write for a sports or business-focused publication. Before attending graduate school, Marissa wrote about USC football for SB Nation. Her other favorite sports to write about include basketball, hockey, and baseball.

It was an amazing opportunity to work with the people at FOX Sports University and NASCAR. The whole experience really opened my eyes to this whole different sport I had never really learned about.

The way that the people at FOX Sports listened to our idea and let us run with it was really empowering. They were super encouraging every step of the way, and took the time to give us invaluable feedback.

To get to be a part of this process and have this level of involvement, especially as a student, was a huge honor.

Ben Albert

Ben Albert

Growing up in the wintry tundra that is Minneapolis, MN, Ben elected for a collegiate adventure and attended USC in the sunny sanctuary of Los Angeles, CA, where he recently graduated in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a double-minor in Marketing and Digital Studies. With fiery passions for sports, music, comedy and entertainment, Ben hopes to apply his media, production and marketing experiences as he transitions to the professional world and begins his career. In his free time, Ben loves traveling the world, attending Classic Rock concerts, playing and watching sports, socializing, screening Will Ferrell movies and fooling around on one of the four musical instruments he knows.

Despite not following NASCAR previously, I was able to develop an understanding and appreciation for the sport that I would not have cultivated otherwise as a result of this project.

Working directly with an industry leader and innovator in FOX Sports was a dream come true for a student looking to enter the sports industry.

The real-life, hands-on nature of this project was incredibly valuable not only to experience the start-to-finish process of team problem-solving, but also because it revealed to student participants that we are capable of creating tangible, implementable, and exciting solutions to real sports challenges.

Robert Eskanos

Robert Eskanos

Robert graduated from the University of Southern California in May 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. He has a passion for sports, especially hockey. Robert grew up in Southern California, certainly a non-traditional hockey market. Despite this, at the age of eight years old Robert began playing hockey and avidly tracking statistics of professional hockey players. This instilled in him a desire to one day work in sports business and operations. To achieve that goal, he has studied data analytics at USC and he plans to work for a year after graduation and then attend law school to learn about contract law and collective bargaining agreements.

The FOX Sports University staff was extremely helpful in providing the necessary information for the development of our idea. We learned every step of how the NASCAR broadcast gets from the track to the TV screen.

FOX Sports University provides students with an incredible level of real-world experience that I’m confident will be invaluable for a wide array of sports careers.

FOX Sports University allowed us to immerse ourselves in a sport with which many of us were unfamiliar. Our day at the Auto Club Speedway was an unforgettable experience. FOX Sports University took us right into the action where we gained an understanding of NASCAR that’s only possible in person.


Spring 2017 Project Description

Sports Media, and Technology students in USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism were challenged by the FOX Sports Lab team to research and develop a strategy for FOX Sports NASCAR technology to be integrated into NASCAR broadcasts.


Professor Profile

Jeff Fellenzer

Jeff Fellenzer

Jeff Fellenzer has more than three decades of experience in sports media, sports management and education, and as an entrepreneur. He is a senior lecturer and full-time professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. His “Sports, Business, Media” class, which he has taught since 1999, averages between 150 and 175 students each semester. His newest class, “Sports and Media Technology,” focusing on the tech sector’s impact on sports, launched in fall 2014 in Wallis Annenberg Hall, USC’s new state-of-the-art communications and media center.


In a 2012 survey of students, “Sports, Business, Media” was voted the No. 4 most popular class at USC. In April 2014, Fellenzer was featured in Annenberg TV News’ series on “USC’s Most Inspirational Professors.”


Among the prominent sports figures Fellenzer has interviewed in his classes are: John Wooden, Jerry West, Bill Walton, Pete Carroll, Byron Scott, Al Michaels, Scott Boras, Keyshawn Johnson, Larry Scott, Ned Colletti, Pat Haden, Kevin Love, Jeanie Buss, George Raveling, Fred Claire, Casey Wasserman, Bill Plaschke, Lee Jenkins, Shelley Smith, Sam Cunningham, Jamaal Wilkes and World War II hero/U.S. Olympian Louie Zamperini (“Unbroken”). His “Weekly Wooden” segments are a tribute to the life lessons of his late friend, the Hall of Fame basketball coach and teacher, who was a three-time class guest.


Fellenzer has been a guest lecturer and moderator for sports business and communications events and panels at USC, UCLA, Caltech, the UC Berkeley School of Law, Pepperdine, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, University of San Francisco, Long Beach State and Southwestern Law School. He was a featured speaker in July 2015 at the inaugural Front Office Combine, held in conjunction with the NBA Summer League, on the subject of “Networking, Resume Writing and Interviewing,” and speaker/moderator at the inaugural NCAA Sports and Entertainment Summit in Los Angeles.


Fellenzer serves as faculty advisor for the school newspaper at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, where he also teaches a journalism skills class to high school freshmen and sophomores, and as faculty advisor of the USC Sports Business Assn.


Fellenzer has been a Heisman Trophy voter since 2007, one of only 43 in California and 925 nationally who have been invited to participate in the selection process for the most prestigious individual award in sports.


Fellenzer is a frequent media commentator on sports business issues, having made live, in-studio appearances on the KTLA-TV Channel 5 News in Los Angeles. He was a featured interviewee in ESPN’s recent “Trojan War” documentary, part of the network’s acclaimed “30 for 30” series.  Fellenzer also has been interviewed for ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” National Public Radio and KNX News Radio, and has been quoted in publications including Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Associated Press, and


Fellenzer also serves as a communications consultant for USC Athletics, working with athletes and coaches in developing social media awareness, understanding the media, brand building, media training and improving academic performance through his “Keys to Success in the Classroom” program.  He was a featured speaker at


Fellenzer developed and hosted his own hour-long sports TV interview show, “One on One,” for Charter Communications in Long Beach. In-studio guests included John Wooden, Tommy Lasorda, Pete Carroll, Scott Boras, Fred Claire, Dan Guerrero, Stan Morrison and Jim Lampley.


Fellenzer was the founder and president of the Pete Newell Challenge, a college basketball doubleheader held annually in the Bay Area from 1997 to 2006 that honored the late Hall of Fame coach and teacher. The event still holds the record for the largest crowd ever to see a college basketball game in California. On Dec. 21, 2000, a sellout crowd of 19,804 at The Arena in Oakland watched No. 3-ranked Stanford defeat No. 1-ranked and eventual national champion Duke, 84-83.


In February 2012, Fellenzer recruited, hosted and moderated an elite panel of Olympic broadcasters at the inaugural USC Olympics Conference: “Stories from the Booth: Broadcasters and the Games,” with Al Michaels, Jim Nantz and Jim Lampley.


Holder of undergraduate and graduate degrees from USC Annenberg, Fellenzer has served as an editor for several sports-related books, including: “Never Make the Same Mistake Once,” a tribute to the late USC baseball coach, Rod Dedeaux, by Robert Leach; “Fred Claire: My 30 Years in Dodger Blue,” an autobiography, and “Money Players” and “Go Pro Like a Pro,” both by Marc Isenberg.


Fellenzer is the immediate past president and current member of the Board of Directors of the Long Beach Education Foundation, and director/founder of the Spirit of Sue, a fund that offers financial assistance for arts-related programs in the Long Beach Unified School District, honoring his late mother, longtime Long Beach educator Sue Fellenzer. He is a frequent speaker and interviewer at the annual Most Inspiring Students Awards in Long Beach, and in November 2011 spoke on behalf of his friend Louie Zamperini at the annual U.S. Vets “Honoring Those Who Serve” luncheon.


Fellenzer worked as an editor/writer at the Los Angeles Times for almost eight years, writing a column on recruiting and serving as sports coordinator for the original L.A. Times Web site that became…before leaving to launch the Pete Newell Challenge and start his own company, Innovative Sports Management.


An avid runner, patron of the arts and longtime supporter of the Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum who officiated his second wedding ceremony in November 2015, Fellenzer is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, having appeared in two sports-related films: “Blue Chips” (1993), with Nick Nolte and Shaquille O’Neal, and “Cobb” (1994), with Tommy Lee Jones.

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