Five students selected for MLB.com internships

University Park, Pa. — Five Penn State journalism students -- the most from any school in the country -- were selected for internships with MLB.com this summer, marking the second consecutive year the University will have the most interns participating in the program.

Their selection marks the fourth year in a row students from the College of Communications have been selected for the program. Penn State had three students selected to participate in each of the past two years.

Students selected this year were:

-- Paul Casella of Rochester, N.Y., who will cover the Chicago White Sox;

-- A.J. Cassavell of Pennington, N.J., who will cover the Los Angeles Dodgers;

-- Matt Fortuna of New York, N.Y., who will cover the New York Yankees;

-- Nate Mink of Allentown, Pa., who will cover the Philadelphia Phillies; and

-- Audrey Snyder of Downingtown, Pa., who will cover the Milwaukee Brewers.

Fortuna, who completed an internship through the program last year and covered the Pittsburgh Pirates, anticipates the challenge that awaits as a member of the media contingent covering the Yankees.

"I expect a much more rigorous summer. That's not to say covering the Pirates wasn't challenging, but there was a relatively small media contingent every day at PNC Park. That's far from the case with the Yankees, who have plenty of national outlets that cover them regularly," said Fortuna.

Because Fortuna grew up in Manhattan, the assignment has extra meaning. He has been following the Yankees his entire life.

"Family members and friends have told me I landed the dream job," he said. "They're right."

Along with the enthusiastic Fortuna, the other students are eager to start their assignments as well. Through the MLB.com program, interns work as backup beat writers for a specific team, producing daily stories and videos during the season while working closely with other MLB.com editors, producers and reporters.

Snyder, the only female Penn State student chosen, earned her position through a collaboration between MLB.com and the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM). Her selection marks the third consecutive year that a current or former Penn State student has been recognized as an AWSM intern.

"AWSM is a program that’s meant to award collegiate female journalists who excel in the field. I had to write an essay and get a recommendation," said Snyder. "It's very competitive among juniors, seniors and graduate students."

Thanks to the presence of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, a strong curriculum, knowledgeable faculty and co-curricular activities such as The Daily Collegian, Penn State students have a competitive edge and experience that often set them apart from many other applicants for the internship program.

"I feel Penn State has prepared me very well for this internship," Casella said. "Working as a reporter and editor at The Daily Collegian for the past four years and having professors that have so much experience in the field has put me in a position where I believe I'm ready for the opportunity."

"We're excited for the opportunity these internships provide for our students," said Malcolm Moran, Knight Chair in Journalism and Society and director of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. "We're also proud that our students have had repeated success in earning these coveted internships. Their selections are a testament to their hard work and talent, as well as the commitment we have to sports journalism."

The John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, created in 2003, explores issues and trends in sports journalism through instruction, outreach, programming and research. The Center's undergraduate curricular emphasis includes courses in sports writing, sports broadcasting, sports information, sports, media and society, and sports and public policy, which is cross-listed with the Penn State Dickinson School of Law.

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Last Updated March 21, 2011