M.A. Student Creates Long-Form Work Published by Whirl Magazine and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Meet Brandon Gdula
Job title: Associate Editor
Employer: NumberFire.com and a contributor of fantasy sports strategy content, RotoAcademy.com
Currently pursuing: M.A. in journalism and mass communication, 2015
Degree earned: B.A. in English literature, minor in creative writing, University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, 2013
Hometown: Beaverdale, Pa.
High school: Forest Hills High School
Now living in: Monroeville, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: Spending time with my fiancÃ©e, Sierra, playing fantasy sports, lifting weights, playing basketball and writing fantasy novels
Why did you choose to attend Point Park for graduate school?
I chose Point Park because of its innovative approach to media and its ability to help me stand out when seeking post-graduate employment. I was initially intrigued by Point Park's M.A. in communication technology program, but ultimately decided to opt for the initiative track of the M.A. in journalism program in order to have my work published before graduating. Point Park offered me both options and the opportunity to be published.
"I chose Point Park because of its innovative approach to media and its ability to help me stand out when seeking post-graduate employment."
-- Brandon Gdula
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Tell us about your work that was published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and WHIRL magazine.
For the initiative track of the M.A. in journalism program, I had to get work published as part of the graduation process. After growing up a fantasy sports fanatic, I pitched an idea about fantasy football and its business and psychological impact on its players to my adviser, Professor Steven Hallock, Ph.D. I interviewed two experts in the field of fantasy football and a local casual player for a diverse look at the game.
With the help of Professor Hallock, I had both a long-form piece about the financial and personal aspects of fantasy football appear on WHIRL magazine's website and also a sidebar centering on the ethical dilemma that fantasy football players sometimes experience when drafting players with legal issues, which was published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Check out Brandon's work:
- "Fans of Fantasy Football: Sports Gamers Vie for Bragging Rights," WHIRL magazine
- "The Next Page: How Real-World Troubles of NFL Stars Intrude on Fantasy Football Leagues," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
How did the education and training you received at Point Park prepare you for this assignment?
I learned good research tactics and process through my classes with Professor Tatyana Dumova, Ph.D., and her instruction certainly helped to drive my initial research phase. Professor Hallock's experience helped me make my pieces stronger, and he helped me share my pieces with local publications.
What's it like going to graduate school in Downtown Pittsburgh?
I'm very much an introvert from a small area in Pennsylvania, but the city was able to provide me with opportunities and connections that I couldn't find in other areas. The Point Park campus is a unique blend of traditional academics and city life, which can appeal to every type of student.
Why would you recommend Point Park's grad program to a prospective student?
I've had very helpful, polite and caring professors while at Point Park, and that is something that I value highly. Point Park also offers graduate students a mix of day classes, night classes and even online options. That makes being both a part-time or full-time employee and a graduate student a very real possibility.