GSU student lands ESPN internship

Deja Harrison prepares for a football interview for the 2018 season. TORIAN SERG/Courtesy photo

Harrison poses for a picture earlier this season, before a home game. NIA RIHIANNA/Courtesy photo

As we know, women in sports are rarely given the same kind of publicity as their malecounterparts. It is no secret women of color have to champion to get into spaces they are not seen in. 


Jayne Kennedy was the first women to enter the male-dominated world of sports as anannouncer on The NFL Today.She paved the way for black women sportscasters such as Cari Champion, Kristina Pink and Pam Oliver.


Deja Harrison, sophomore mass communication major, hopes to follow in their steps. 


Harrison has had an admiration for sports since she was a child. 


“Growing up, I would watch the Saints game with my uncle,” Harrison said. “Watching sports I noticed the players had confidence, discipline and had a goal.”


Harrison was seven years old. when her family witnessed devastation. 


“Our family was affected by Hurricane Katrina and was evacuated to Houston,” Harrison said. “I wasn’t able to see my family for a long time, our possessions were dilapidated but we were able to replace the material things. Katrina gave me my first lesson about perseverance and dedication.”


Harrison is a part of the sports information staff and a reporter for the GSU TV where she covers sports events and military.


She recalls how it was difficult time getting acquainted with the mass communicationsdepartment on the GSU campus. 


“It was hard getting my name out there and making friends,” Harrison said. 


Luckily, Director of Sports Information Brain Howard mentored her and helped her take better control of her educational career.


“I am fortunate for Mr. Howard helping me understand the media culture,” she said. 


Alan Blakney, GSU TV director, was impressed with her versatility. 


Blakney suggested Harrison should apply for The Undefeated internship. The  Undefeated  is a sports and pop culture website owned and operated by ESPN.


“I applied in April 2018, Grambling taught me to be one step ahead, I had my resume, recommendation letters and important documents up to date,” Harrison said.


In January, Harrison was awarded the internship with ESPN. Recently Harrison had the opportunity to report on GSU women’s basketball player Shakyla Hill, who broke a record registering a quadruple-double. 


“The first step to progress is to remove fear. You can do all things through Christ,” Harrison said.