Student Athletes and Compensation

In light of recent buzz about the Northwestern University football team being granted the right to unionize, there has been much debate around college athletes, the compensation they receive from their universities for playing, and whether or not it is enough. Brielle Basso, Mallika Choudhary, Oluwa Falodun, Nihal Hameed and I worked together to create a video, infographic, slide show, storify and article pertaining to college athletics and compensation for players. I have included all of these elements in this post and you can view each of them below.

The following article profiles Leslie Jackman, a talented young football player who has played for both Rutgers and Hofstra University, and currently has his sights set on joining the NFL.

Long Island Football Player Dreams of Joining NFL

A lot of people daydream of what it’s like to be a professional athlete, someone who is able to perform feats of strength and speed that the average person could not fathom. Leslie Jackman is that kind of athlete. Born and raised on Long Island, Jackman has always been at the peak of competition on every level. “Football is just something I’ve always loved and held very dear,” says Jackman. “It taught me the importance of putting everything you can give in to something you love. I can point back to football with just about anything good that either I represent or anything good I’ve ever done.”

Leslie Jackman attended Freeport High School. He was an All-Long Island recipient, an award to recognize the best football player in the region. He helped lead his team to a Long Island championship. “Just from the way he played in high school, you can tell how much he loved the game,” said Natalie, his sister. “If they lost, his entire personality changed… His face dropped.”

Leslie Jackman chose to attend Rutgers University, where he played for three out of his four years of college (scouting report). While attending and playing football at Rutgers, Jackman was roommates with Ray Rice, the running back for the Baltimore Ravens, one of the best RBs in the NFL. “Rutgers was surreal. Even though I didn’t play a lot, I got to see other elite players and how hard they worked,” said Jackman. “Watching Ray work, that really blew me away. He’s a different beast.” Jackman says that nothing helped his athletic prowess more than practicing with NFL caliber players. It became clear to Jackman that college players were worth a lot of money, even in the span of seconds, as seen with Aaron Harrison’s shot in the NCAA tournament (Forbes).

Leslie Jackman transferred in his senior year to Hofstra University, where he started in each of the 12 games he played. Jackman says, “Hofstra ended up being more of a home to me than Rutgers, I felt more in the spotlight, more welcomed…I think athletics at the college level improved my skill. We put our blood, sweat, and tears into the game, literally, it’s a full-time job on top of school. There should be some pay-out for that.” Today Leslie Jackman is working with professional trainers to prepare for NFL tryouts.


In the following video, we sat down with three Hofstra University athletes and asked them about their experiences with college athletics, and how they felt about the issue of athlete compensation. You can watch the full video by clicking on the screenshot below.

The following slideshow features sports related photos and facts from around Hofstra University’s campus. You can view the full slideshow by clicking on the screenshot below.

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 6.54.14 PM

The Storify below displays tweets from various sources expressing their opinions on college athletes being compensated monetarily and otherwise by their universities. You can read it in full by clicking on the screenshot below.


Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 6.58.46 PM


Lastly, the following infographic describes several different elements of college athletics, from coaches’ salaries around the nation, to statistics regarding how many college athletes on average join professional leagues. You can access the full info graphic by clicking on the screenshot below.

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 5.53.11 PM

Internet Security Becoming Bigger Issue for Americans Today

Internet Security Becoming Bigger Issue for Americans Today

With the recently discovered Heartbleed bug making headlines, many people are questioning how secure the information they put online really is. Yesterday, the Pew Research Center published an article that showed more Americans now report having personal information stolen online. I’ve gathered the article’s most interesting statistics and created an info graphic, which you can access by clicking on the photo above.

A Glimpse Into the Daily Duties of a School Adjustment Counselor

A Glimpse Into the Daily Duties of a School Adjustment Counselor

Kathleen Clemente has worked in the Guidance Department of the Greater Lawrence Technical School, a vocational high school located in Andover, Massachusetts, for the past 27 years. For the majority of her career, she worked as a guidance counselor, but three years ago her title changed. Clemente is now an adjustment counselor, assisting students who require special accommodations throughout the school day and beyond.

Last Thursday Clemente allowed me to shadow her at work, and sat down for a brief interview with me describing what it’s like to have her job.

I’ve combined the audio and photos I took into one Soundslide, which you can access by clicking on the photo above.

University of Albany Men’s Lacrosse Beats University of Massachusetts Amherst 25-10

University of Albany Men's Lacrosse Beats University of Massachusetts Amherst 25-10

On Saturday March 9th at 1:00 p.m., The University of Massachusetts Amherst Men’s Lacrosse team lost to the University of Albany 25-10 in the fifth game of the season. This was the first loss of the year for the UMass Minutemen, who are currently ranked no. 15 in the nation, behind The University of Albany at no. 13. The game marked UAlbany’s first win over UMass in eight years, and also proved to be one of the Great Danes’ best offensive tallies to date. They scored 25 goals, including the first four of the match.
Fans packed the stands of UMass’s Garber Field, and despite the loss, enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather, many carrying their own lacrosse sticks and playing catch. Garber field was renovated in 2006, and is named after Richard Garber, the former UMass men’s lacrosse coach who led the team to victory 300 times from 1955 to 1990.

Check out my slide show featuring pictures of Saturday’s game by clicking on the photo above.

Why Celebrities Have No Place at Fashion Week

No matter which way you spin it, there is one truth about Americans that cannot be denied: our obsession with celebrity is sickening. This obsession has permeated every aspect of our culture, to the point that any major event’s success is measured by how famous the attendees are. February 6th marked the beginning of Spring Fashion Week in New York City, and, refreshingly, it seems some designers have made a point not to get caught up in the superficial fight for celebrity endorsement.

        According to a report published by the Daily Mail, designer Tommy Hilfiger says he thinks the focus of Fashion Week should be the clothes on the runway, not the people seated in the front row. The article states he even limited the guest list of his own show during New York’s Fall Fashion Week 2013, openly saying that members of the Hollywood “A-list” were not welcome. To me, this seems like something that should go without saying. It’s called Fashion Week for a reason; the clothes should be the main attraction. I can only hope that Hilfiger’s attitude will be reflected in this week’s shows as well.

And, apparently I’m not alone when it comes to hating the Hollywood takeover. According to a 2007 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, many Americans are also sick of the celebrity overload in this country. The study found that 47% of people under the age of 50 agreed there was too much celebrity news broadcast every day.

Hofstra freshman Elena Menagias said she thinks the reason so many Americans are intrigued by celebrities is because of the image they put forth. “They represent what most people want in life, which is to be successful,” she said.

        Maddie Dalton, a freshman at Hofstra, attended the Tadashi Shoji show on Thursday. Dalton said the crowd was indeed composed of several non-celebrity guests, saying the front row featured many young, seemingly entitled and bored-looking socialites. “You could tell they do it all the time, it’s nothing to them,” she said.  

        This is even more evidence why all designers should limit their guest lists. The best seats in the house should be given to people who are knowledgeable and passionate about the fashion industry.  

“Journalists and publicists that actually help promote a designer’s line, especially those that specialize in fashion, should be the ones valued at the fashion shows,” said Alex Shore, a freshman Public Relations major at Hofstra.

Ultimately, whether or not a celebrity attends a fashion show should have no bearing on the perceived success of a designer. In a country that prides itself on being free, we ought to stop looking at which fashion line Kim Kardashian is endorsing and start thinking for ourselves.