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Women In Sports: Q&A with Rutgers Assistant Director of Athletic Communications, Stephanie Mamakas

Stephanie Mamakas, Assistant Director of Athletic Communications (Women’s Soccer, Men’s Cross Country, secondary contact for Women’s Basketball, Men’s Track & Field, Women’s Tennis) at Rutgers University was very surprised to be selected for the Women In Sports feature series on Double G Sports.

Hailing from Old Bridge, New Jersey, Mamakas is not even three years removed from graduating Rutgers magna cum laude with a B.S. in sports management and minor in digital communication, information and media.

Before becoming Assistant Director of Athletic Communications, Mamakas was an intern in the Rutgers Athletic Communications Office for three years and sports information contact for volleyball, swimming and diving, and tennis and also spent a year as a recruiting assistant with the Rutgers football program.

She does not just see herself as a woman in sports but the Assistant Director of Communications at Rutgers and interned her whole time at the school and got into the industry. In addition, she is honored to be on that long list of all women to break boundaries while just doing her job.

Double G Sports: Can you describe your first time on the Rutgers University campus?

Stephanie Mamakas: I went on a tour of High Points Solutions Stadium and one of the parts in the tour was in the press box. Someone named Allison Miller was doing a speech on what happens in the press box and what athletic communications does here and I absolutely loved everything about it and realized that’s the job I want. My parents’ encouraged me to go up and talk to her and from there she explained a lot, which led to an internship in Rutgers Athletics Communications.

DGS: What are some of your responsibilities of your job?

SM: I have the opportunity to work with a lot of sports at Rutgers. Getting to work with all the programs, I learn about different things and work with so many people. Rutgers is home; so grateful to work in my home state and be able to share everything that goes on here at Rutgers.

What I love most about my job is working with the student-athletes. They put in so much work, it’s great helping to get their stories out there and share all the accomplishments on and off the field.

DGS: You were also the Vice President of the Rutgers Athletics Student Marketing Organization, known as the Rutgers Riot Squad and spent two summers working for the New York Liberty. Can you talk about those experiences?

SM: A lot of fun being a part of that (Rutgers Riot Squad) when it started up. Getting involved in marketing on campus and other students to come out. Seeing the organization grow and more passion for Rutgers sports, it was a great start to my career at Rutgers.

When I get a chance to work with a different team (New York Liberty) and at that time someone who is here now, Hasim Phillips was the Communications Director and got to work with him and learned from him was very exciting and to see how the WNBA works things and take that experience from that time back to Rutgers.

DGS: Did you play any sports in high school?

SM: I played no sports in high school but I was a cheerleader and it counts because competitions are tough! The best part was I got to cheer with friends at football games. We also cheered at basketball games and wrestling matches.

DGS: What is your message to people attempting to break into the field?

SM: Just go for it and it has to be something you want to do. Put in the work/hours, and intern at places. Ask questions when you meet someone, tell them what you’re dreams are and what you want and you never know what it will lead to.

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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