by Juliana Dellamarggio
This fall, the Harrington School of Communication and Media introduced the first-ever Introduction to Sports Media and Communication class taught by award-winning sports director and anchor, Yianni Kourakis.
The course offers students a survey of perspectives on sports communication and media. It addresses the changing 24/7 landscape of sports media, the prevalence of social media and the merging branches of media including TV, print, digital, radio, podcasting, blogging and social.
“I am excited to begin teaching the first introductory course in sports media communication,” Kourakis said. “The world of sports is such a vast topic that many students are interested in and I want them to continue to gain knowledge and learn about areas in sports communication that they may be unfamiliar with.”
Kourakis comes to URI with a vast background in sports media. He is currently the sports director for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. He anchors sports for Eyewitness News and hosts and produces the “Sports Wrap” nightly on Fox Providence, the “Patriots Wrap”, and “New England Nation”. Kourakis has covered all three Patriots’ Super Bowls since 2013, as well as the Red Sox World Series win. Prior to returning to his native Rhode Island, Kourakis was a sports anchor/reporter at WRIC-TV in Richmond, VA. In 2012 and 2013, he was named Associated Press Sportscaster of the Year in Virginia. He previously worked at WBOC-TV in Salisbury, Maryland, and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.
“Our Harrington students are lucky to have such an accomplished professional like Yianni teaching them the ins and outs of sports communication and media,” Dr. Adam Roth, director of the Harrington School of Communication and Media and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences said. “There is no one better to teach our students the fundamentals of sports and we are grateful he is sharing his expertise and work experience with us.”
This fall, the Harrington School rolled out an interdisciplinary minor in sports communication and media, with an array of new courses. Now, several faculty members are working on establishing a major in the growing and popular field. Students have also created their own sports media club.
“I am looking forward to seeing how sports media and communication evolves at URI,” Kourakis said. “This is an important topic in the world of communication and this course is only the beginning for future sports broadcasters from URI.”