Flash Friday: A.J. Scilla

Junior public relations major’s passion for sports photography

Welcome to Flash Friday! In this series, we introduce you to fascinating student Flashes from all walks of life.


Meet A.J. Scilla, a junior public relations major with a passion for sports photography. Originally from Mars, Pennsylvania, Scilla currently resides in Savannah, Georgia, working for the Savannah Bananas.   

Scilla is just beginning his Fan Services internship with the team, but already has many stories to share.

“I'm only a month in, and I already have so many awesome moments to be thankful for. The most memorable moment so far was at our games in Tampa. To prepare the VIB (Very Important Bananas) fans, I got to reach out and call some of them a few days prior to get them pumped for the games,” Scilla recalled excitedly.  

It was then that Scilla saw an opportunity to create a memorable moment for a fan.  

“A fan picked up, and I started chatting with him. He let it slip that one of the reasons he was in Tampa was for his daughter's cheerleading competition,” Scilla said. “The Savannah Bananas have a rockstar group of Dad-Bod cheerleaders! So, I got a card put together for this young girl and had all our dad-bod squad sign it!”

Scilla recalled that the best part of the experience was the reactions from the fans.

“While the smiles on the mom and dad's faces were giant, their daughter's smile was even bigger,” Scilla said. “We are fanatical about our fans, and I was so excited to be able to put this moment together.

During the historic mill fire of 2022 in Kent, Scilla sprang into action and took photos of the scene. This act landed him a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and his photo was regarded as the best in the nation for 2022 in the category Breaking News Photography.  

Firefighter putting out a fire at the Historic Mill in Kent

Photography is a lifestyle for Scilla. While he leans into it in his professional pursuits, he also uses photography to unwind.  

“I love taking my camera downtown or to a nature preserve and using my pictures for social media content,” Scilla said. “I'm always willing to go to any sporting event to take notes on what they do fan-engagement wise.”

In addition to content creation, Scilla has a soft spot for furry friends.

Aj with a dog

“Helping out at animal shelters is a recent passion of mine,” Scilla said. “I started helping out at Paws and Prayers Pet Rescue in Cuyahoga Falls in March 2023. In Savannah, I just found Renegade Paws Rescue, which is a super-great organization down here that I'm pumped to get working with!”

Are you a student interested in being featured in Flash Friday, or know a student who would make a great candidate? Send suggestions with name and contact information to kentstatetoday@kent.edu.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 8, 2024 10:11 AM
Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2024 02:00 PM
Maddie Goerl, Flash Communications
Courtesy of Heather Thrush