Profile: Melissa Beasley
Bachelor of Arts, communication arts, 1996 | Elite athlete relations manager, U.S.A. Track & Field, Indianapolis
Out of the Blocks | Beasley wanted to be a sports reporter and spent a summer in Atlanta interning for a Fox television affiliate during the 1996 Olympics. There she met a producer from ESPN who told her about the soon-to-be-launched ESPNews. She was soon editing highlights for “SportsCenter,” “Baseball Tonight,” “NBA2Night” and “NHL2Night.”
Changing Lanes | Missing the direct contact with athletes, she decided to pursue a career in sports administration and media relations and returned to Xavier as an intern in the sports information office.
Gaining Position | Shortly after her internship ended, she was hired by U.S.A. Track & Field, the sport’s sanctioning body. She joined the organization in September 2000, just weeks before the Sydney Olympics. She now oversees several programs, is the liaison to the anti-doping agency and is program administrator for the post-collegiate special assistance fund. The fund aids athletes as they make the transition from college to professional ranks. She also helps publish a quarterly athlete-based magazine, Elite Beat, edits a handbook for elite athletes and writes a monthly anti-doping newsletter.
Covering Ground | She’s on the road about 70 percent of the year. Her travels have taken her to Chile, England, Canada, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and France. She spent March 2004 in Hungary and was in Greece for the month of August for the Olympics. Upcoming trips may take her to Japan, Russia and possibly Morocco. “Of course, Beijing is the site of the 2008 Summer Olympics, but that is far down the road.”
Going for Gold | Beasley says 2004 was by far her most rewarding year, “seeing the athletes’ hard work and accomplishments get them to the Olympic stage. I remember seeing many of them as junior athletes.” She also assisted with the daily trips to a U.S. Naval Base, where the athletes experienced all the perks of home. “I helped to coordinate a meet-and-greet with the sailors and others on the base—our way of saying ‘thank you.’”
Next Race | The major international event is the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, in August. “Many people only think of track and field every four years, but this sport happens every year and there are always exciting moments.”