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Six SMSC students selected for Thunder internship program

thunderdoowopperSix Oklahoma State University students have landed highly-competitive, season-long paid internships with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s communications department for the 2016-17 season. 

The Thunder tipped off the first of their 41 regular-season home games last week. Six students, all sports media majors with the OSU School of Media and Strategic Communication, will work all home games and other events for a Thunder franchise with the second-most win total over the last seven seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

skaggs“For a second consecutive season we are pleased to extend seasonal positions within our Basketball Communications Department to several Oklahoma State sports media students,” said Thunder Basketball Communications Director Matt Tumbleson. “We have been impressed with the caliber of the sports media students and I look forward to a continued partnership with the program.”

Four OSU students will serve as interns in the Thunder basketball communications office (media relations/public relations).

ChapmanThomas Chapman, a senior from Tulsa in the OSU Sports Media-Strategic Communications/Sports Information track, returns for his second year as an intern for Thunder. Chapman is also one of 13 OSU Sports Media majors (undergraduate or graduate) interning with the OSU Athletics communications office, becoming the first student to intern with both the Thunder and OSU Athletics communications simultaneously for a full season.

Additionally, three new interns from OSU join the Thunder’s basketball communications office: Jordan Glover (senior; Oklahoma City; Sports Media-Strategic Communication/Sports Information track), Addison Skaggs (sophomore; Perryton, Texas; Sports Media-Journalism track), and Corinne Simpson (senior; Lincoln, Nebraska; Sports Media-Production track).

Glover has garnered a variety of professional and student media experiences in public relations, marketing and sports media. Skaggs serves as President of the OSU-Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) chapter, and previously interned with Orange Power Studios (the video production arm of OSU athletics). Simpson is the current director of the OSU Pioneer Media team that provides multimedia content on the Stillwater High School football team.

Matt Valdez (senior; Fort Worth, Texas; Sports Media-Journalism track) will serve as an intern for the Thunder’s SportsVue/analytics staff. Valdez interned last summer for the Fort Worth Vaqueros soccer franchise of the NPSL and has served as lead statistician for the Pioneer Media team over the past two years.

corinneLogan Butler (senior; Ottawa, Kansas; Sports Media-Strategic Communication/Sports Information track) is serving as an intern in the Thunder’s corporate communications division.

“The Thunder are proven to be among the best run organizations in professional sport,” said Dr. Edward (Ted) Kian, OSU’s Welch-Bridgewater Endowed Chair of Sports Media. “We are fortunate that Thunder personnel continuously support the [OSU] Sports Media program through visits to Stillwater. More important, the Thunder recognize the quality of OSU Sports Media by hiring our students.”

In addition to Chapman, 2016 Oklahoma State Sports Media graduates Lauren Russell and Ashleigh Young interned with the Thunder basketball communications department last season. Russell is now an account executive for the OKC Energy FC soccer franchise. Young is currently a master’s student and fully funded graduate assistant with the University of Southern Mississippi athletics communication office.

Founded in 2009, the OSU Sports Media program is the largest stand-alone sports media major in the world, with 215-220 annual majors and pre-majors from high schools in 38 different U.S. states over the past two academic years.

Students in the School of Media and Strategic Communications garner a multitude of practical experiences both within and outside of the classroom. Many students work for student media outlets such as the O’Colly (student newspaper), (the OSU television station), KXZY (OSU’s student radio station) and the Pioneer Media team. For more information on the Oklahoma State Sports Media program, please visit

(Headshot credits, from top: Addison Skaggs, Thomas Chapman, Corinne Simpson.)