Within two years of graduating from Susquehanna, Kirsten Hatton ’19 landed a job at ESPN, was promoted to associate producer and won a Sports Emmy — all during a global pandemic.
Hatton’s work on SportsCenter, ESPN’s daily sports news TV program, was recognized with the Emmy. She says it was a blessing to be a part of the show.
“There are so many people who work hard to put the show on air, and my favorite thing was that we kept the show going during a time when there were no live sports,” Hatton says. “We had to challenge ourselves to come up with content, and it is a true testament to everyone who worked on the show. I was very lucky to be a part of the team and to learn from many great producers.”
The sports media major and former track and field competitor credits SU with giving her the confidence to chase her dreams.
“Through all my classes and activities, including cross country and track and field, WQSU, the Association of Women in Sports Media and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, I learned valuable lessons on how to be a good teammate and a good leader,” she says. “My professors pushed me out of my comfort zone, and that set me up for the position I am in today.”
Hatton specifically recognized Dawn Benfer, general manager of WQSU, and David Kaszuba, associate professor of communications, as mentors who helped her develop the skill set she uses at ESPN. “Dawn saw something in me and pushed me to be my best. She encouraged me to take risks and pursue leadership positions at the station, which helped develop me into the professional I am today,” she says. “Dr. Kaszuba took a group of us to Major League Baseball’s winter meetings in 2016. This trip made me think differently about my goals and gave me confidence to continue to chase them.”
According to Hatton, she has found an environment similar to the one she enjoyed at Susquehanna: one that is ripe with opportunity and awash in creative freedom.
“I have been able to pitch ideas that make air. I pitched a Women in Media segment for National Girls and Women in Sports Day. It got reception online from my colleagues and many women featured in the piece. It was really cool to see their responses,” Hatton says. “Every day working in sports is different. I love that about the job.”Return to top