Eric Fels ’19 pursuing career in sports community outreach

A career goal of working in community outreach for a professional sports organization inspired the senior seminar research of Eric Fels ’19 of Hubertus, Wisconsin. Fels, who had a double major in exercise science-sports management and history and a minor in economics, examined the impact community outreach programs of National Basketball Association (NBA) teams has on the public image of teams in their surrounding communities.

Fels used Lane Library’s digital catalog and database centers to do his research. He provided supplemental material drawn from scholarly articles on corporate reputation, corporate social responsibility and community outreach, both as a general business function and as it relates to professional sports teams.

“Then the challenge was sifting through everything to find the really pertinent information,” he says.

“After my presentation, I have a better appreciation and understanding for how much work goes into any scientific study that is conducted,” Fels says. “We only had to propose a study and it was exhausting, so to carry one out takes a great deal of perseverance and patience. Additionally, I found all the interesting and unique topics my classmates had chosen for their presentations fascinating; it was amazing to see how diverse our interests are.”

Fels’ interests began in high school when he took a sports marketing class. At Ripon College, after talking with Professor of Exercise Science and Assistant Coach of Football Rick Coles, he refined his interest through the sports management program.

He says the exercise science program is improving through new faculty and equipment, especially in the athletic training and exercise physiology areas.

He also finds connections with Ripon College alumni and other professionals to be helpful. “One of the most wonderful and useful parts of (Ripon) College is the amazing network it has all over the country,” Fels says.

Through the Office of Advancement and the Office for Career and Professional Development, Fels already has connected with dozens of alumni and professionals in the career fields he hopes to one day work in.

He also appreciates the emphasis faculty places on students studying their areas of interest while simultaneously pushing students to think critically and analytically.

Fels is starting a five-month engagement working in hospitality for Xanterra Parks and Resorts at Yellowstone National Park. He then will pursue a career with either the National Parks Service or a sports organization in community outreach.

Dakota Marlega ’21
Waupaca, Wisconsin


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