Honors College Senior Reflects on His College Career and Journalism Experience

Sean Fitzgerald Reviews his Successes in the Honors College and Plans for the Future

Sean wearing a mask in the Cleveland Indians press box.
Sean Fitzgerald is a senior honors student, graduating with a major in journalism and a minor in sports administration. Originally from Strongsville, Ohio, Sean says that the Honors College has come to feel like a second home in his four years at Kent State. In fact, Sean recalls moving back to the Stopher-Johnson honors residence halls in the fall of 2020 and accidentally saying to his family, “I’m headed home!”

A number of experiences have helped Sean develop a supportive network at the Honors College. One such opportunity was serving as a Resident Assistant in the Honors College living-learning community for three years. “I’ve lived in Stopher-Johnson for all four years, one year as a freshman resident, then three more as an RA,” Sean explains. Living in the honors residence halls helped Sean connect both with the honors staff and his fellow honors students. In his time as an RA, Sean regularly visited the Honors College office in the lower level of Stopher hall, and his interactions with honors staff was extremely rewarding. Sean explains, “I always got help where I needed it. I can’t thank them enough for everything they gave me. Those connections really meant something.” Apart from developing a strong network with Honors College staff, Sean is also very close with his fellow honors students, which is part of why he feels so welcome in the Honors College. Sean has many fond memories of playing card games and frisbee with fellow honors students, both around campus and in the Stopher-Johnson lounges. In addition to these friendships, Sean says that, as an RA, “I love being able to see smiles on residents’ faces and feeling like I’m giving back.”

Sean is also thankful for the professional and academic opportunities he has experienced while at Kent State. Passionate about sports, Sean was able to work as the Sports Director for the Black Squirrel Radio, one of the Kent State Student Media outlets.  Prior to the pandemic, Sean was able to attend some Cleveland Cavaliers games on credentials, and he then reported on the games for the Black Squirrel Radio. Sean is also a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary, a society of high-achieving residential students. Sean also completed an internship with WKSU, Kent State’s NPR News and Classical Music public radio station, and through this experience he was able to report on a number of Cleveland Indians games over the summer of 2020. This internship also helped Sean develop connections with various professionals in the journalism field, proving a great experience for him.

Sean standing on the Cleveland Cavaliers court in Quicken Loans Arena.
After graduating from Kent State this spring, Sean plans to return home and work as a site supervisor at the Strongsville Recreation Center throughout the summer. With previous experience working for the Rec Center, Sean says he is excited to go back, as he will be overseeing the baseball fields and solving any issues that may arise with guest teams. Sean adds, “Just being involved in sports is really good for me.”  He also hopes to independently report on some of the Cleveland sports games throughout the summer. Both of these jobs align well with Sean’s goal to work in sports journalism and sports radio. Sean adds that the constant support of Honors College staff helped him maintain his confidence and gain these professional opportunities.

When asked what advice he could offer to incoming honors students, Sean encourages freshmen to utilize their resources in the Honors College. He adds, “Remember that you’ve always got people in the Honors College who are more than willing to help.” Sean explains that transitioning into college can be difficult at any time, but that the global pandemic creates even more challenges for new students as they adjust to college life. Mentioning mental health specifically, Sean says, “Utilize your resources and don’t be afraid to ask for help because things will get so much better and you will think, ‘I can do this.’”

Sean also offers advice to current honors students, encouraging his peers to take breaks. He adds, “It’s okay to take a break and relax. You need self-care; go for a walk, get some food, take a break.” Relatedly, Sean encourages his fellow honors students to focus on the value of learning instead of focusing entirely on grades. Sean encourages students to “Focus on absorbing the content. If you’re just working for the grade, you won’t gain as much.”  The last piece of advice Sean has for current honors students is to build connections with professors. He explains that having good rapport with professors will help students in the future with networking and recommendations. Sean concludes by encouraging honors students to “Have fun!”

Sean is excited to pursue a career in sports journalism and is grateful to the staff and students who helped make his Honors College experience so rewarding.


PHOTO CAPTION 1: Sean Fitzgerald standing on the Cleveland Cavaliers court in Quicken Loans Arena.

PHOTO CAPTION 2: Sean wearing a mask in the Cleveland Indians press box.

PHOTO CAPTION 3: Sean standing by a Major League Baseball display outside of Huntington Center.

Media Contact: Stephanie Moskal, smoskal@kent.edu, 330-672-2312

POSTED: Friday, April 30, 2021 05:01 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 02:51 PM
Olivia Wachtel, Honors College Writing Intern