ENMU Broadcast Journalism Student-Athlete Strives to Create Documentary Focuses on Importance of Athlete Mental Health

Qitana Sapiga is majoring in Communications with a focus in Broadcast Journalism at Eastern New Mexico University and is considering becoming an ESPN Assistant Journalist or Sports Analyst.

Dean’s List winner and member of the ENMU volleyball team, who is a junior this year, discusses her dreams of making a documentary that shows the importance of athlete mental health and other career goals .

What inspired you to participate in ENMU?

I chose ENMU not only because I was offered a sports scholarship, but because I knew the incredible opportunities I was going to receive through the communication department. The hands-on experience you can’t get anywhere else! I really feel like when I leave Eastern I’ll be more than ready to apply for a real job.

Why did you choose to study audiovisual journalism?

I chose this field of study because it encompasses all of my favorite interests. Speaking, public speaking and writing have always been easy for me. I love having open discussions and creating conversation, and to me that’s what broadcast journalism is all about.

What I like about the Communication major is that it is very broad. I can go into almost any career field I want with a communications degree. I consider communication to be one of my strengths and I see myself very well in this area.

The communications department at ENMU has also been a big part of my passion for broadcast journalism. I am currently a sports presenter of “News 3 New Mexico”, a show shot live in the KENW communications building on campus, and I am also a co-host of “Highschool Spotlight”, which is a featured segment on every episode of “SportsLook,” a talk show run by the one and only Doc Elder.

Working with Doc and watching him in his trade has taught me so much. He’s a great person to admire because he’s one of the most talented people I know and is an inspiration to everyone he meets! Because I get hands-on training in the communications department, I can get a feel for the industry and what it will be like in the “real world”.

I love writing scripts for my sports show, I love being in front of the camera and sharing the thoughts I have come up with, and I love creating this opportunity for a group of people to chat. Whether three people watch our show or a million, I love being the person who starts a conversation with the audience.

Qitana visiting Bennett’s farm with her teammates.
qitana with the team

What are your career goals?

I hope to someday work for ESPN as a secondary reporter or become a sports analyst. What attracted me to sports is that I have been surrounded by gambling my whole life. My whole identity is to be an athlete, and I love it so much that even when I retire from sport, I still want to be a part of it in some way or another.

I love being a sports presenter for “News 3”, but one of my goals is to be able to host post-match interviews and to be able to have one-on-one meetings with athletes. Writing articles and recaps of matches is good and all, but I really feel that my vocation is to be face to face with athletes who interview them! As I mentioned before, I love to create a conversation, and a one-on-one interview is the best way to do that.

Ultimately, my dream is to broadcast the Olympics! I watch the Summer Olympics every four years, but after watching Tokyo 2020, I wish I could be a reporter at the Olympics. The Olympics are probably the highest level an athlete can reach, so being able to be in that atmosphere with the athletes and being able to interview them or report games would be my ultimate goal.

What other dreams do you have?

To be honest, while I’m very sure where I want to go for my future career in broadcast journalism, I still have a lot of interests outside of this field.

Some of my dreams outside of communications are to own a bakery, to become an entrepreneur, to create a resource for athletes struggling with their mental health, to become a talk show host, to have my own talk show. and practice volleyball. For now, I’ll be focusing on my future in broadcasting, but I’ll definitely keep those interests in my back pocket.

qitana with group outside
Qitana with his teammates during a football scrum.

Are you working on research at ENMU?

I am not currently working on any research project; however, I would like to create a documentary highlighting the importance of mental health in athletes. As a student-athlete myself, I have had my own personal experience of poor mental health. I don’t think people really understand the stress and emotional roller coaster that athletes face on a daily basis, so I would like to raise awareness about that.

I would also like to shed some light on the treatment of female athletes in a male dominated industry. From college to professional level, female athletes do not receive the same treatment as male athletes. This has been posted several times, and I would like to think that maybe one day I can make a difference, big or small. For now, I will continue to do my research, but I would like to have an open discussion on this topic and start a conversation that needs to happen.

What activities do you participate in at ENMU?

Outside of the classroom, you can find me at the arena! I’m on the women’s volleyball team, so if I’m not in the communications building for “News 3” or “Highschool Spotlight” I’m probably at the arena! I also work at the Max Pac when I have free time.

What is your advice to students who wish to pursue a degree in audiovisual journalism?

For anyone interested in broadcast journalism, I would say to enroll in Comm 344 Broadcast Practicum in order to have the best practical experience. A lot of students don’t know that KENW produces their own shows (like “News 3 New Mexico”), and that’s where I get a lot of experience. If you are seriously considering writing or broadcasting or becoming a talent on camera in the future, take this course because you will learn so much and feel like you are part of a news station!

Which professors at Eastern have mentored you?

Chris Leclure was not a professor at ENMU, but he worked at KENW and mentored me a lot for “News 3”. He’s not at Eastern anymore, but he taught me a lot, motivated me and gave me the confidence I needed to be in front of the camera. He is someone who is currently working in the industry and knows exactly what it takes to “do it”. Before leaving ENMU he and I had many discussions about what I need to work on, things I should focus on, my strengths, my weaknesses and he made me very excited to continue my studies. dreams in this industry.

Where is your favorite place on the ENMU campus?

My favorite place on campus is the Golden Student Success Center, and it’s not for studying or reading books; it’s because Einstein Bros. Bagels is here! I’m always on the hunt for a great bagel and coffee or avocado toast and smoothie, so Einstein’s is my breakfast or lunch go-to! My second favorite place is Campus Union because of the WOW Cafe, and I can see my friends.

qitana with the team inside

Tell us about your family and your background.

I was born and raised in Long Beach, California with three siblings, two sisters and a brother. My younger brother is currently in second year at Los Alamitos High School, my younger sister is in first year at Adams State University and my older sister and I are in Eastern, going to school together and playing volleyball -ball together! She is a senior and obtains a diploma in social work in the spring.

My mom is a manager of a freight company and my dad is a social worker for the Orange County Department, as well as a graduate professor at California State University Long Beach and California State University Dominguez Hills, and he teaches social work. . How well he should be able to teach his own trade! He loves what he does, and he and my mom always work hard to provide for our family.

Which class at Eastern stood out to you the most?

My favorite class at ENMU is any class Edward Caffrey teaches! He’s a great teacher, and from the moment you walk into the classroom you can tell how passionate he is with what he teaches. He makes his lectures fun and interactive, and I have learned a lot from the many classes I have taken with him.

What is your favorite aspect of Greyhound life?

My favorite part of being a Greyhound is the small community that is Portales! Even though Portales is a small town, the people are what make the community so united and cohesive.

I was born and raised in Long Beach, California with three siblings, two sisters and a brother. My younger brother is currently in second year at Los Alamitos High School, my younger sister is in first year at Adams State University and my older sister and I are in Eastern, going to school together and playing volleyball -ball together! She is senior and obtains a diploma in social work in the spring.

My mom is a manager of a freight company and my dad is a social worker for the Orange County Department, as well as a graduate professor at California State University Long Beach and California State University Dominguez Hills, and he teaches social work. . How well he should be able to teach his own trade! He loves what he does, and he and my mom always work hard to provide for our family.

What are your hobbies?

Because I have been a student-athlete my whole life, I haven’t had a lot of free time to develop hobbies. But I love to cook and try new recipes so I would consider it a hobby. I like to do any type of artistic and craft activity. As long as I’m with my family, any activity is fun!

Anything else you would like to share?

I like dogs! I can’t have mine yet, so I still babysit my friends’ dogs when I can. I would like to have my own dog one day, but maybe when I get settled somewhere and can afford to take care of it.

Qitana with her family during a Dodgers game.
qitana with family


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