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Grad Student Jason Stamm Goes Above and Beyond
By Kimberly Busch
For many college students, finding the perfect major can be hard. For Jason Stamm, a graduate student in the School of Communication, being a journalist started when he was in high school; working for his school newspaper.
Stamm started his college career majoring in news/editorial journalism, or print, at Western Kentucky University. His plan was to get his basic classes out of the way and then write for the school newspaper, which he did, for three semesters; finishing off his last semester as sports editor.
Working in the field of sports is what Stamm is well known for. Upon attaining his undergrad degree, Stamm worked for Doug Thompson who ran a small sports newspaper called The Sporting Times in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Eventually Thompson asked Stamm to join him in creating something much bigger. And that was when the recruiting website for Rivals.com that covered WKU sports began. That allowed Stamm to travel to places like Oregon and Alabama.
“I think that’s the best part of the job, traveling,” Stamm said.
While he continued to work for WKU Rivals, Stamm kept looking for other opportunities. In 2011, he started to work for a newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky, called The Oldham Era and this lasted until April 2012.
The next opportunity that opened up for Stamm, through WKU Rivals, involved covering Virginia Tech sports and he moved to Virginia. A vacancy for a publisher also opened up at HokieHaven.com.
HokieHaven.com is not affiliated with Virginia Tech at all. Stamm travels all over, interviewing and reporting on athletes. Do not mistake him for a recruiter; Stamm essentially writes stories on athletes, making them well-known; so that college teams get interested. He also maintains strong relationships with coaches and communicates regularly with them.
“I write stories on high school athletes, documenting their recruitments, such as what schools are looking at them,” Stamm said.
On top of writing stories for HokieHaven, Stamm also has a partnership with WSLS 10, a local television station out of Roanoke, which broadcasts news for central and southwest Virginia.
“It’s more of a trade,” Stamm said. “If I come across some kind of breaking news, I call and tell them and they put it on the air and they source it and credit it; they put the logo HokieHaven.”
In all of the years working for HokieHaven.com, Rivals and now the partnership with WSLS 10, Stamm has managed to get himself through grad school by taking one class a semester. “It’s insanely hard,” he describes.
He has hired a few freelancers to provide a little leeway but this year it has been different. He has brought on a lot more helpers, while attending three classes this spring as well as serving as a graduate assistant.
After getting his master’s degree, Stamm plans to get his Ph.D. and then pursue a career as a journalism professor.