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Dunmorean of the Month: Bridget Walsh

Bridget Walsh recently received the Grant Burger Media Award in Division III Sports Information category. She is a Sports Information Graduate Assistant at King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. (Photo courtesy: Tom Weishaar/One More Shot Photography)

By Steve Svetovich

Bridget Walsh, 24, Dunmore, recently received the Grant Burger Media Award in Division III Sports Information category.

Daughter of Mike and Cathy Walsh, Dunmore, the Scranton Prep graduate is a King’s College Sports Information Graduate Assistant. She is scheduled to receive an M.S. in Sports Administrators this May from Canisius College, Buffalo, New York. 

Walsh received her B.S. in Communications Cum Laude in 2019 from DeSales University where she was a four-year member of the basketball team. She was a key player for the DeSales basketball team helping the squad to an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance as a senior.

She played four years of both basketball and softball at Scranton Prep. She was a Lackawanna League first-team Division I all-star in both sports as a senior and for softball as a sophomore. 

The Grant Burger Media Award is a national honor provided on an annual basis to an individual who has been involved in the advancement of the sport of volleyball through consistent coverage of all mediums. It is presented by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). 

Grant Burger was former Director of Sports Information and Associate Director of the AVCA from 1988 through 1992. 

King’s College head men’s volleyball coach Bernie Kachinko called Walsh “highly motivated, well rounded, very organized in taking pride at getting the job done right.” He said Walsh is “a winner who sets very high standards for herself.”

Walsh, during her assistantship, is in charge of media contact for both the men’s and women’s volleyball teams at King’s. 

With the women’s volleyball team, she helped promote a team with 21 wins. She assisted in promoting Becca Goldberg and Taylor Mueller, All-MAC Freedom Award winners, and also nominated two Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom Players of the Week.

She was the head contact for the inaugural varsity season of King’s College men’s volleyball. She helped promote five MAC Players of the Week before the season was halted due to COVID-19.

James Chagnon, King’s College Director of Sports Information, said there is no more deserving individual than Bridget Walsh. He added Walsh has become one of the leaders in coverage of college volleyball. He praised the Dunmore resident’s connection with student-athletes, adding she has a strong work ethic second to none and a bright future in sports information. 

Walsh was also a four-year student worker in the sports information department during her time at DeSales University. 

She became a graduate assistant in the sports information department at King’s College in the summer of 2019. And she has remained there since, covering home games of several sports and daily sports related events. 

“Three of us are department contacts for a handful of sports,” she said. “I have seven of them to cover. I do pre game reports, lineups, press releases, contacts for game day, game recaps, nominate players for honors and awards. And that is just a small aspect of the job. It is definitely a busy job and over 40 hours of work a week, but I love it. It’s a very big job. There is a lot involved. I love every second of it.

“I love being in sports information on the college level. My goal after graduation is to go full time into an assistant role in sports information and then move into a sports information director position on the college level. And then the goal down the road someday would be moving into a sports administration position.”

Walsh, while at DeSales, completed an internship in the sports department of The Scranton Times in the summer of 2017. She worked under Scranton Times sports editor Chris Imperiale and learned from the likes of Marty Myers, Joby Fawcett, Donnie Collins, Scott Walsh and other notable sports writers. “They are a great group of guys and I learned a lot,” she said.

“I even had the opportunity of doing a big feature on the Scranton Wilkes Barre RailRiders.”

The hard working graduate student said her parents have always been an inspiration. “Growing up, I was not always confident about choosing a career path,” she said. “But we grew up with sports and my parents knew I loved it. My dad loves Notre Dame and watches all the games. I was admiring the work of the Notre Dame sideline reporter, Alex Flanagan. My parents told me I can do that. And they made me believe it.

“Initially, I wanted to get into sports broadcast journalism and then I leaned towards print journalism. I found out it is not a wide open field now. I did an internship in sports information as a college junior and fell in love with it. So it all fell into place. But my mom and dad gave me the inspiration.

“My parents always taught me about hard work and dedication. Both were always extremely hard workers and they taught me that.”

Walsh said there is nothing like the experience of playing four years of college basketball. “It will always be one of the most memorable, rewarding experiences of my life. I made friends to last a lifetime. The teamwork skills you learn take you through life. The teammates you have create a special bond that lasts a lifetime. My dad came to every single one of my games.” 

Walsh is enjoying the contacts and friends she is making in the sports information world. “I have met so many people. I will be able to network when graduation comes along. I have learned so much and am enjoying every minute of it.”

New Partnership to Support Students with Special Needs

Thanks to a $22,000 grant from AllOne Charities, Holy Cross High School and the NEPA Center for Independent Living have formed a pilot partnership to ensure that special-needs students get the best hands-on educational experience possible.

Shown at the AllOne Charities check presentation to Catholic schools are, from left: Kristen Donohue, Superintendent of Catholic Schools; Jason Morrison, Diocesan Secretary of Catholic Education/Chief Executive Officer; John Cosgrove, Executive Director, AllOne Foundation & Charities; the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton; and Sandra Snyder, Diocesan Grant Writer.

Four students in Holy Cross’s Individualized Instruction program will directly benefit from this grant by attending a specialized program at NEPA CIL that will help them develop the critical life and practical skills that will best position them for post-graduation success in the workplace. These students suffer from various health-related conditions and challenges.

“AllOne Charities is pleased to serve as a partner in the innovative and collaborative work between Holy Cross High School and the NEPA Center for Independent Living,” said John Cosgrove, executive director of AllOne Foundation & Charities. “There is so much more we can achieve together in improving the access to quality programming for our friends and neighbors with special needs.”

Diocesan Secretary for Catholic Education Jason Morrison recognized AllOne Charities’ commitment for enhancing access to special-needs programs for Catholic school students.

“We are grateful to AllOne Charities for the generous support of our students with exceptionalities,” he said. “This gift achieves our goal of ensuring that all students achieve their God-given potential and are prepared for life beyond the classroom.”

Diocesan Catholic schools currently offer four separate Individualized Instruction programs for students with special needs. At the elementary level, these students can attend Good Shepherd Academy in Kingston or All Saints Academy in Scranton, and at the secondary level they can attend Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes-Barre or Holy Cross High School in Dunmore.

Partnerships such as these supplement the personal attention and support students are able to receive and ensure that those attending Catholic schools are receiving a complete range of services tailored to their unique needs.

“By holding students to high expectations, individuals acquire the academic, functional, and social skills necessary to live as active members of society and stewards of God’s creation,” said Doreen Dougherty, principal of Holy Redeemer High School. “Families gain an invaluable support system in close relationships formed with other families. Students grow to respect and appreciate the gifts God has given each of us.”