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Georgia Southern graduate spreads wings, lands new production career

Samuel Schwartz

Samuel Schwartz knew from the moment he set foot on campus that Georgia Southern University would be his home for the next four years.

The first person he connected with on his journey was Dean Cummings, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Communication Arts in the College of Arts and Humanities.

“When I saw that Georgia Southern had a multimedia film and production major, I knew I needed to come visit,” Schwartz said. “Dean Cummings gave me a tour of Sanford Hall and all of their facilities. I liked the feel of the school. It just felt homey. I knew this was the place, and Dean Cummings wound up becoming a great mentor, a great professor and a really good friend.”

Schwartz quickly found his home on campus when he began working on video production as a student intern with GATALifestyle and the Athletics Department at Georgia Southern.

“I started working with GATALifestyle the first semester of my freshman year,” Schwartz said. “I just kind of locked in on it and I think it paid off. I dedicated a lot of time to filming with football and athletics. It was a really cool opportunity to experience what a full-time position in this field would be like in real life.”

His position working with the GATALifestyle social media accounts evolved through multiple leadership shifts.

“It’s been interesting to see so many changes,” Schwartz said. “Especially when my first boss left because that led to my transition from working with the production aspect into a more involved leadership role. While it’s been mostly student-run, there was always a lead student and I was honored to have the privilege of doing that for the past few seasons.”

Schwartz knew this last season was important for the student production team as he prepared to graduate.

“This past season, most of our team was younger,” Schwartz said. “There’s five of us and only one who had been through a season with us before. So it was especially important to get the younger students to a point where they can function and do this without me next season and beyond.”

While balancing his leadership role and education was difficult, it was worth it to Schwartz because of the community they built.

“I made a lot of connections and good friends working with athletics,” Schwartz said. “It was such an interesting, diverse group with people who came from a lot of different backgrounds, and yet we’re best friends. We made that environment and I think that was really special.”

Schwartz wearing his championship rings

Schwartz wore two championship rings as he crossed the stage at Allen E. Paulson Stadium on May 9. The first is from the Camellia Bowl in 2018 and the second is from the New Orleans Bowl in 2020.

“We won the game for the Camellia Bowl the season I started working with athletics and that helped me know that this was what I wanted to do,” Schwartz said. “The New Orleans Bowl was really special for me though, not just because it was a crazy year with COVID, but because it was my first year as the lead student for GATALifestyle and so I got to be so much more involved that year. The players wear their rings at graduation and so do some of the student assistants, so I decided to wear mine too.”

Having now earned his bachelor’s degree, he is going to begin a new career doing what he loves.

“I’m headed to Athens,” Schwartz said. “It’s crazy, but I got a job with Georgia Football. I’ll be the assistant director of creative video. I get to take everything that I learned at Georgia Southern and put it into this new position. I’m ready to focus on this new job, give it my all and see where life takes me from there.”

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