In Her Own Words: Mary Ann Mitchell, the one-woman media center for UMSL Athletics

by | Nov 22, 2015

Her many roles include managing the athletics website, writing press releases and articles, facilitating photography, and she will even pull the tarp for a softball game, if need be.

Former collegiate volleyball player Mary Ann Mitchell shows grit, determination and heart on and off the court.

Mary Ann Mitchell

Mary Ann Mitchell is the assistant director of athletics for media relations at UMSL. (Photo by August Jennewein)

In her position as assistant director of athletics for media relations at the University 
of Missouri–St. Louis, she has workdays that can stretch up to 14 hours, proving herself to be a one-woman media center.

Mitchell manages the UMSL Athletics’ website, writes press releases and articles, facilitates photography, monitors social networks, maintains statistics and records, attends games, handles media requests and will even pull the tarp for a softball game, if need be.

Read her take on sports news, social media and what motivates her work ethic.

The St. Louis sports market is saturated with professional and collegiate teams. How do you attract media attention for UMSL Athletics?

We have a few stations that really do great work with us. KSDK is always out here, covering our teams.

Beyond any marketing strategy I can think up, more media attention comes with winning, the successes of our student-athletes and what they are doing on the court or field.
 The more our teams win, the more media coverage we are going to get, and I feel that was evident with our softball team last year. Softball had an outstanding season with some great individual performances, including Hannah Perryman pitching several perfect games, a story picked up by ESPN.

Does social media and technology make your job easier?

You would think so, but social media is more overwhelming than anything because 
you have access to so much information and so many forms of communication. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope. You could do all that stuff, but there’s really not enough time in the day.

I figure out which social media streams best reach my target audience and go from there.

Considering the various tasks you accomplish and the long hours,
what keeps you motivated?

Honestly, supporting the athletic program through media is a fun job. And being around student-athletes just makes it that much better because they’re so young and so vibrant and energetic.

It’s amazing, seeing how student-athletes grow from the time they first step on campus to the time they leave. Besides becoming great athletes, they grow as people, too, and leave with good degrees that lead to good jobs.

Plus, the coaches and staff I work with also keep me motivated. One of the best things about coming to work every day is being around others with the same passion in wanting both the department and the student-athletes to succeed. I am blessed to get to do what I do at UMSL.

This story was originally published in the fall 2015 issue of UMSL Magazine.

The UMSL Experience

Ron Austin

Ron Austin