PRSSA hosts Women in Sports Communication Panel


Photo by Isabella Veljacic - Reporter

Following the conclusion of the panel, those in attendance were invited to come forward and talk to the panelists themselves.

Isabella Veljacic, Reporter

The California Lutheran University Public Relations Student Society of America club hosted a Women in Sports Communication Panel for all students. The speakers were Angel City Football Club Vice President of Public Relations Lisa Milner Goldberg, Los Angeles Sparks Communications Manager Corrie Hemry, Spectrum SportsNet Reporter Kristen Lago and Los Angeles Rams Vice President of Corporate Affairs Joanna Hunter. 

“I wanted to do something that utilized my connection to all of these women while raising awareness around women in sports,” senior Mara Powner, president of the PRSSA club, said. “Seeing how these women carry themselves and overcome obstacles is really inspiring.”

Powner, who invited the panelists to speak on Feb. 28, has worked with each of them through her internships with the LA Sparks and Angel City FC. Although she did not intern at Spectrum SportsNet or LA Rams, through her roles as a sports communication intern, she said she was able to create relationships with Lago and Hunter.  

“These four women work so hard and I have seen a lot of it firsthand,” Powner said. “Specifically seeing all of them handle things with poise when things get crazy.”

Lago said that taking advantage of the personal relationships you have as a college student is important because you never know when they might show up later on. She said that she wants students to know that there are genuinely people out there who help you and that she regrets not asking more questions as a college student. 

“Any time I am asked to do these types of events I am an immediate yes. Women supporting women and men supporting women is so important,” Lago said.  

While this event showcased women in sports communication roles, male students and staff were in attendance too. 

“I think it’s really cool to see such strong women in really high positions, it shows me that I can do this too,” Sylvie Van Cott, senior and exercise science major, said. 

Powner moderated the panel by asking the speakers questions, and they spoke about a range of topics, such as the importance of internships, networking and relationship building. 

“I just soak in all of the information that everyone is saying because it can apply to almost any job you can think of,” Van Cott said. “Something about the elegance in the way they speak is really helpful for me.” 

Throughout the talk, Milner Goldberg emphasized making yourself available for any task, no matter how small it may seem. She said that even as a vice president she is tasked with things like setting up banners or event booths, which is something aspiring students can look forward to in the sports industry on game days. 

“As many times as this career is hard and you don’t have time for work-life balance, it’s the moments and the people that make it all worth it, like in LA when the Rams won the Super Bowl,” Lago said. 

During the event, Lago said that “inspiring the next generation of women in sports” is what motivates her each morning before going to work despite the long hours.  

“To be in sports, you have to love people and I get to say that I get to meet a new person every day and that makes it worth it,” Lago said.

Hemry said that she is blessed to have a job that does not feel like work. However, she said that at times, in order to balance your personal life and work life, it is important to speak up if you need a break. 

Each of the panelist’s answers to the question about “work-life balance” were similar, as they all said that it is important to say no when something is too much, but if it is important to you, make time for it. With Milner Goldberg being a mom, she contributed to this conversation from a different perspective by sharing a story about how her daughter has commented on her long work hours.

“My biggest hope is that people start to see women and acknowledge women in sports,” Powner said. “There is room for women in this industry.”