|Steven and Kathy Jenkins walk the red carpet at the National Capital/Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' 55th annual Emmy Awards ceremony in Baltimore.|
For Jenkins, a senior communication arts major at Salisbury University, those dreams — and more — have come true, all within months. Like other “overnight success” stories, however, his took years to accomplish.
With an interest in sports media, he was accepted at the University of Maryland, College Park, and at SU in 2009. Financial considerations dictated he remain close to home. He began his freshman year at Salisbury that August — and that’s when the opportunities began.
During the next four years, he learned about broadcasting from SU faculty and staff including SUTV student television organization advisor Mike Camillo, Dr. Francis Kendall of the Communication Arts Department and the professor he said had the biggest influence on his work, Dr. David Burns.
Earlier this year, Burns and Camillo encouraged the student to submit his work to the National Capital/Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. They also recommended him for the academy’s highest student honor, the $5,000 Betty Endicott Scholarship.
The Salisbury resident was shocked when he received an invitation to attend the chapter’s 55th annual Emmy Awards ceremony in Baltimore. Equally excited was his mother, whom he escorted to the black-tie event.
When Jenkins lost his father at age 11, the absence left a void that was difficult to fill, he said. His mother, Kathy, worked to support him and his three younger brothers, leaving precious little time for the family to spend together. For Jenkins, the Emmy date was a small token of appreciation for her sacrifices throughout the years.
For many, the ceremony was a social event. Jenkins saw it as a networking opportunity. At the top of his list of people to meet were announcers Trevor Matich and Chick Hernandez, whose broadcasts brought the Washington Redskins into his home as he grew up.
“I’ve been interested in sports media from the beginning, so it was fun to meet some of these guys I grew up watching,” he said.
Making the evening more exciting was knowing he soon would be moving into their “turf,” both figuratively and literally. Just weeks before the ceremony, Jenkins accepted an internship with the Redskins.
This “opportunity of a lifetime,” as he calls it, was the result of some good thinking. He initially planned to accept a position as a summer intern for the Baltimore Ravens, whose practice facility he toured as a member of SUTV.
Before signing on with the Ravens, however, the lifelong Redskins fan began wondering whether his favorite team may have a similar position available. He submitted his application on a Thursday and received a call from the team’s internship coordinator that Monday.
“I had to prepare for the biggest interview of my life in just three days,” he said.
That interview, with Redskins play-by-play announcer Larry Michael, went well. Very well. Jenkins, who provided play-by-play and color commentary for SU’s athletics teams for two and a half years, begins his Redskins internship this month. The position is expected to last until November.
Initially, his duties will include filming and editing for Comcast Sports Network’s Redskins Nation, as well as work for WRC’s Mike Shanahan’s Coach’s Show and Inside the Redskins. He also anticipates shooting footage for use on the team’s Web site, www.redskins.com.
Jenkins is quick to credit Burns for his success.
“He taught me to check the equipment before going out on a shoot, the rules of shooting, how to set up interesting shots and so much more,” he said. “Without a doubt, it’s all about Dr. Burns.
“Of course,” he added, “when I try to thank him, he says it’s all about me.”
Jenkins expects to graduate in December, becoming the first person in his immediate family to earn a college degree.
For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.