Point Park University's SAEM Program Celebrates 20th Anniversary Friday, April 14, 2023
"I am proud of our graduates who have carved out impressive career paths and the faculty who have helped change so many lives. It was personally rewarding to see so many alumni come back to campus to share wonderful stories from their time at Point Park and hear about the success they have achieved since graduation."
Point Park University's Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management degree program celebrated its 20th anniversary on April 12 with a packed day of programming and live entertainment designed to connect current students with successful alumni and potential employers.
"Today was a great day to celebrate the many successes our program has had since I helped found the program 20 years ago," said Steve Tanzilli, J.D., dean of the Rowland School of Business. "I am proud of our graduates who have carved out impressive career paths and the faculty who have helped change so many lives. It was personally rewarding to see so many alumni come back to campus to share wonderful stories from their time at Point Park and hear about the success they have achieved since graduation."
The celebration highlighted the SAEM program's distinctive qualities – industry-experienced faculty; a campus surrounded by SAEM businesses and organizations; access to networking, internships, co-ops, volunteer and job-shadowing opportunities and relevant coursework that incorporates the latest changes and innovations in the field. Professors Paige Beal, Melinda Colaizzi, Robert Derda, Teresa Gregory and Ed Traversari were on hand for all activities to foster meaningful introductions between students and alumni.
Three alumni panel discussions – two focused on emerging trends in SAEM and a third centered on career-building tips – brought together alumni from a variety of roles and companies to share their insights and advice for aspiring professionals.
Ashley Kier '21 reflected on how, just a few years ago as a college student, she walked past the Byham Theater as the COVID-19 pandemic began and took heart in the marquee message: "This is just intermission." Now, she is preparing for the opening of a show at the theater as marketing coordinator for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. A self-described theater kid, she emphasized the importance of maintaining one's passion and willingness to learn, adding that she applies the knowledge gained from SAEM courses to her job daily.
"Absorb all you can while you're here," she said.
Kim Prelosky '16, creative recruiting coordinator for Duolingo, praised the SAEM program's ability to change as the industry changes.
"It's not just learning from a book," she said. "It's always been about adaptability and learning new skill sets. That mentality is something I take into my job now. I love the program. I love that I have a degree in SAEM from Point Park and I'm proud to be an alumna."
Jeremy Olson '11, assistant general manager for AEG/Promowest at Stage AE, was drawn to Point Park for its downtown location and appreciated the collaborative relationships between faculty and students.
"I loved the diversity of the SAEM program – it wasn't just a singular focus," he said. "It taught me that a career path isn't a straight road. There are many twists and turns along the way that lead to new opportunities."
Additional alumni participants included:
- Haley Adams '18, social media coordinator for RCX Sports
- Brittany Bishop '17, regional marketing manager for Live Nation
- Amanda Bolea-Munsch '14, senior vice president of corporate sponsorships for PNC
- Austin Brooks '18, director of athletic partnership and marketing for VMG Sports Representation
- Dana Drewniak '17, senior group events specialist for the Cleveland Cavaliers
- Nick Gigante '07, senior vice president of development and real estate for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
- Alison Maternowski '12, general manager for AEG/Promowest at KEMBA Live!
- Bridgette Perdue '06, executive director of Alumni Theater Company
- Cassandra Wangler '22, membership services representative for the Pittsburgh Penguins
Pioneer Records staff
Following the panel discussions, the Professional Center for Career-Readiness hosted an on-campus career fair featuring companies from all corners of SAEM, including Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, WTAE, iHeart Media, Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Pirates, and more.
To cap off the festivities, Pioneer Records, Point Park's student-run record label, held its annual Pioneer Star showcase at Stage AE, which included musical performances by current Point Park students and alumni. The lineup featured 2023 Pioneer Stars Shayna, Hickory Bluff and Bryana Appley, as well as Anna Hazo, Allissa and Chase and the Barons. The Pioneer Records team awarded Shayna a new Gibson guitar, courtesy of the Rowland School of Business' partnership with the Gibson Gives Foundation, and they debuted a student-produced music video for Appley.
Pictured are SAEM students and Pioneer Records staff Delaney Metikosh, Sandamini Sinley, Olivia Davis and Anna Hazo. Photo by Ethan Stoner.
Learn more about the SAEM program:
- Sports Sales Course, Teams Prepare Students for Success
- Matthew Uzar '20 is the Events Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Penguins
- Max Kovalchuk '14 is a Manager of Artist Development at 300 Elektra Entertainment
- After Roles with Facebook, Clif Bar and Twitter, Christine Schell '15 Catalyzes Crowdfunding Success
More About: sports, arts and entertainment management, success story, PNC, faculty, Stage AE, Sports, Arts, Entertainment and Music Partnerships, Pittsburgh Pirates, Rowland School of Business, Career Development Center, WTAE, Pittsburgh Penguins, alumni, KDKA