Cole Cayer '23

Cole Cayer ’23
Cole Cayer ’23

Experience both in and outside of the classroom has prepared Cole Cayer ’23, a digital media and journalism major with an emphasis in sports journalism, for his new media assistant position with the Hartford Yard Goats minor league baseball team. In his new role, Cole is responsible for prepping the press box, taking game notes, and scanning line up cards and stats to include in his story on Cole first “worked” for the Yard Goats when he took Applied Associate Professor of Communication Abe Hefter’s sports journalism course and was offered the opportunity to cover a Hartford Hawks game at Dunkin’ Park, as part of an extracurricular field trip.

Cole’s sports media experience also included serving as a board member and sports director for UHart’s Student Television Network (STN). “We covered all types of UHart sports as well as national sports,” says Cole. “I was also a member of the Hawks Production team and helped broadcast UHart games on from the mobile sports production truck for a variety of sports, including basketball, lacrosse, and baseball.” A student-athlete, Cole also served as captain of UHart’s Men’s Cross-Country team and was one of six captains for the Track and Field team.

Cole says what he learned in the classroom contributed to his success as a sports journalist. “Many of the courses I took are extremely applicable to the workforce because they are taught by people who have been in the industry or have a great knowledge of the industry,” he says. “They understand what employers are looking for in future talents.”

In additional to his sports reporting experience, Cole presented an independent study research paper with Assistant Professor of Communication Goyland Williams at the Southern States Communication Association Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, this past April. “My research explored social class and the perception of crime by examining two female characters in the Netflix hit drama Ozark,” he says. “In the paper, I examine how stereotypes and societal biases affect the way people perceive crime and the perpetrators who commit these crimes. I also explore framing and how popular culture directly impacts the way the public view the world.”

Cole credits Hefter, Williams, as well Associate Professor of Communication Susan Cardillo with greatly contributing to his success. “They were always there to answer every question I had regarding school, my future career, or just life in general,” he says. “They were personable and understanding, but they also expected a lot out of me. They pushed me every day in class to constantly improve and never settle for mediocrity. Without them, I do not know if I would be in the position I am today.”

He advises incoming School of Communication students to try everything. “Even if you really feel like you want to be a broadcaster, reporter, sound engineer, or want to be in front of or behind the camera, I highly suggest trying all positions to see what you enjoy. It never hurts to learn new skills, and you might be surprised by what you find enjoyable.”

Cole says his favorite thing about UHart is the people. “I met some of my lifelong friends here, and I met so many professors and coaches who will forever be a part of my life. Enjoying your class work as a student or practices as an athlete is nice, but you also need to find your social balance outside of school and sports. My friends and professors made that aspect of college life so easy and bearable, and I am forever indebted to them because of that.”

Many of the courses I took are extremely applicable to the workforce because they are taught by people who have been in the industry or have a great knowledge of the industry. They understand what employers are looking for in future talents.

Cole Cayer ’23, Digital Marketing and Journalism