Ashley Jackson, BU’s newest sports information director, offers representation and inspiration – The Daily Free Press

Ashley Jackson
Ashley Jackson in front of the Walter Brown Arena in Boston, MA. Jackson works as the Assistant Director of Strategic Communications for BU’s athletic department. COURTESY OF ASHLEY JACKSON

After five years in Columbia, South Carolina, Ashley Jackson is beginning a new chapter in her young but impressive career. Last summer, Jackson was hired as associate director of strategic communications and sports information director in Boston University’s athletic department.

Raised in northern New Jersey, Jackson, the only SID woman at BU, has been a sports fan for as long as she can remember.

“I’ve literally had Rangers jerseys since I was one [size] 2T,” Jackson said. “That was a very constant in my life.”

The former high school tennis, track and field athlete wanted to broaden her horizons when it came to the college experience.

“I really wanted to get out of New Jersey,” Jackson said. “That was one of the big things, my parents even said, ‘You don’t have to go to school in the state. There are so many other places to visit across the country.’”

A friend of hers recommended the University of South Carolina to her. Jackson applied and was accepted, finally deciding that the big Southeastern Conference school was right for her.

While Jackson originally went to college as an economics student, she eventually transitioned into public relations. In her junior year, she took sports-oriented communication classes.

In the fall of her senior year, she became a student assistant in South Carolina’s sports communications department. Most of her role was sorting photos by football match for the historical archives. In the spring, the department needed help with men’s tennis.

The staff member in charge of men’s tennis was Diana Koval, who was also in charge of the nationally competitive women’s basketball team. Due to the high demand in women’s basketball, Koval was often busy, giving Jackson the opportunity to serve as a “pseudo-SID”.

After graduating, Jackson returned to New Jersey when she saw a position in the South Carolina athletic department. After applying and getting the job, she was in charge of the women’s tennis and equestrian team.

Right out of the gate, Jackson was responsible for media coverage of a rising star in collegiate tennis. Sarah Hamner of South Carolina won a national championship last October.

“There’s a lot to do to make sure you get the right coverage and cheer on your national championship,” Jackson said. “It was crazy.”

With a family friend who attended BU and a love for the city of Boston, Jackson thought that if a position in BU’s athletics department opened up, she would be the right choice.

“I saw that the position at BU was open and I thought this was absolutely perfect and this would be a way I could move up to Boston,” Jackson said. “I was lucky that they decided to offer me the position and I thought, ‘Definitely, I’ll be there as soon as possible.'”

In her new role, Jackson is the primary point of contact for men’s and women’s cross country and track and field, women’s lacrosse and women’s tennis. She also serves as the secondary contact for women’s hockey, working under Brian Kelley, Associate Athletic Director for Communications and Brand Services.

Jackson is currently the only female sports information director on staff. The other associate director of strategic communications, Connor Giblin, recognized the importance of Jackson representing women’s athletics.

“We’re admittedly in a very male-dominated space,” Giblin said. “Anytime you work with someone who you can relate to a little bit better or who also knows how your sport is treated differently compared to other sports or compared to the opposite sex of your sport, I think that always is a big advantage. ”

Although hockey is a lifelong love of Jackson’s, she didn’t get the chance to cover it at the University of South Carolina. Covering hockey at BU has been the most exciting part of her job so far, she said. She will be traveling with the team to Las Vegas, Nevada for their Thanksgiving weekend tournament and is looking forward to experiencing her first beanpot.

“It was my dream to work in hockey,” Jackson said. “So to do that on the first try, the second full year of my career, sometimes it takes me a second to even understand that it’s still real.”

Her young but impressive career is an inspiration to students at BU, particularly female sports journalism students such as Stevie Potter, a College of Communication student and hockey reporter for WTBU.

“Women in sports, as much as we love what we do, it’s scary to know that once you graduate you might not have the opportunities you really wanted and worked so hard for,” Potter said. “But seeing someone else do it not only gives you someone to look up to or maybe ask questions, it just gives you hope and makes you more excited about your own future.”

While Jackson is focused on fulfilling her role on Babcock Street, she’s not quite sure what she wants to do long-term. However, don’t be surprised if you see her in an NHL press box one day.

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