Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Miami’s been very, very good to me

Jack Schmelzinger stands in front of The New York Times building. This guy wrote a book while in college. Damn.
Jack Schmelzinger stands in front of The New York Times building. This guy wrote a book while in college. Damn.

I’ve been extremely lucky throughout my college career. 

Before my first year at Miami University, I changed my major away from journalism. Thankfully, James Tobin, a journalism professor, somehow saw that, gave me a call and talked to me about the Miami journalism program. After we hung up, I went right back into the system and changed my major back. 

A month or so later, I got a call from The Miami Student’s former sports editor and then editor-in-chief, Chris Vinel. I don’t remember how or why he got in touch with me, but when he heard I wanted to do sports writing — his passion — he lit up. He took me under his wing, and I wrote my first sports story before I even arrived on campus. Ever since, he’s been a mentor to me.

Around that time, I got a text from Patrick Geshan, the former sports director of Miami’s student radio station, RedHawk Radio. He told me about some of the extracurriculars a first-year journalism major might consider trying out. I told him I’ve always wanted to talk about sports on the radio and asked who I might talk to about doing something like that. 

“Well, that would be me,” Geshan said.

There aren’t many places you can step in as a first-year and get straight on the air. But again, I got lucky. For the next three years, Patrick and I called nearly every home hockey, football, basketball and baseball game. We got to go all over the Midwest calling games, and he became one of my best friends.

What I benefited from is the best part of Miami and what sold me and my family on this school in the first place. I don’t know how Tobin figured out that I changed my major, but he did, and he took the time to call me and give me his pitch.

I don’t know who asked Chris or Patrick to reach out to me, but someone did. The two of them helped give me incredible opportunities and mentorship that have shaped my college experience and my life. 

I’ve been blessed. I’ve gotten to interview professional athletes, tell amazing stories and travel to new places to do what I’m passionate about. Most of that was facilitated and funded by TMS and the university.

Miami, it’s been a blast. You’ve been very, very good to me. I’m so proud to call Oxford my second home. It will always be a place I can come back to and remember simple, great times with many of the people I love most. I’m devastated to leave, but I’m thrilled to take my Miami education and experience out in the real world and see what I can do. This place has prepared us well.

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