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Pictured are SAEM students at WWE Monday Night Raw Show Nov. 30 at the CONSOL Energy Center. | Photo by David Rowell

Sports, arts and entertainment management students both assisted backstage and attended the live WWE Monday Night Raw show Nov. 30 at CONSOL Energy Center, located in Downtown Pittsburgh and within walking distance of Point Park's campus. CONSOL is also home of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Through SAEM Associate Professor Ed Traversari's connections with management staff at CONSOL, he was able to secure several spots for Point Park students to work backstage as production runners and assistants as well as attend the show.

"It's great when our SAEM students gain real hands-on experience at a CONSOL Energy Center event. It really helps bring to life what we teach in the classroom in our live entertainment classes about being production runners and assistants backstage," explained Traversari.

"I enjoyed being part of the production and seeing my work actually come to life. It was really interesting to see props I assisted with being used on live TV in front of millions of viewers at home," said Aaron Woods, a senior SAEM student. "Also, it was fascinating to see how many people it really takes to make a production like that come to life."

"I love taking advantage of all of the wonderful opportunities that the SAEM program has to offer. Getting to see what goes on behind the scenes at WWE was extremely beneficial and great experience for my resume," remarked junior SAEM major Nicolette Jones, who worked as a production runner for WWE.

In addition to the SAEM majors who worked at the WWE event, several students from Assistant Professor David Rowell's Intro to SAEM and Marketing and PR for SAEM classes were invited to attend the live show.

"Student Julianna Ross turned to me during the event and said, 'Look, it's a commercial on a product for kids eight to 12 years old. The advertisers are going after the kids as consumers like we talked about in class rather than customers who actually make the purchase. They know kids will jump on Mom and Dad to buy them the product.' I was extremely proud of her and all of our students at that moment because they used critical thinking to translate the classroom into reality," explained Rowell.

For Woods, assisting with the WWE show was the "perfect opportunity" for him.

"I was able to make a lot of beneficial connections and meet some important people who can possibly help me out down the road," said Woods. "The music industry and WWE were the two main reasons I applied to Point Park for the SAEM program. They've been the two biggest inspirations for me as far as what I want to do as a career."

Photo by David Rowell, M.F.A., SAEM assistant professor

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