Lehigh Sports Communications and Multimedia Department adjusts to pandemic
With both fall and spring sports in action at the same time this semester, Lehigh University’s Sports Communication and Multimedia Department is facing its busiest season yet.
Among other things, the department’s employees were tasked with writing game reviews, handling media inquiries, and managing photography and videography. They had to adjust to the hectic schedule of two sporting seasons that happen simultaneously this spring.
Steve Lomangino, director of Lehigh Sports Communications, said the department is adapting quickly to the challenges of COVID-19 and that they are especially lucky to have Lehigh teams competing again.
Lomangino said while her role remains the same, this season includes safety protocols and how it affects her interactions with coaches and officials.
“It takes flexibility to do things a little differently than we are used to, but to make these competitions as safe as possible,” said Lomangino.
With six employees, the department focuses on its time to give each team the best possible coverage.
Deputy Director Justin Lafleur reiterated the importance of efficiency and said he had confidence in the staff’s ability to handle the tasks that surround game days in a COVID-19 aware world.
“Ultimately, there is still a way we can give our teams tremendous coverage,” said Lafleur. “We just have to be wise about how we spend our time.”
Multimedia coordinator Kelly Rohrer said one thing she’s focused on this season is preparing for a variety of circumstances, given the rapid changes Lehigh Athletics has seen over the past year.
“We have now learned that things can really change 24 hours, 48 hours before an event,” said Rohrer. “With this, we’re trying to plan a lot of different scenarios so we’re ready to move forward if at any point something changes.”
The Sports Communication and Multimedia Department intends to use creativity and communication to overcome future hurdles.
“Everyone in the athletics department is very aware that this is a different type of semester. With good communication, I think many of the challenges this season brings will be solvable,” said Lafleur.
Lomangino said as he prepares for the prospect of multiple streaming events each weekend for the foreseeable future, he and his colleagues are capitalizing on the skills they developed at Lehigh basketball and wrestling competitions earlier this year.
The staff worked closely with other departments to carefully plan game times and maximize streaming capabilities.
“We just do everything we can to resolve planning conflicts and give our athletes a season that is as close as possible to a normal season,” said Lomangino.
The three shared their excitement about returning to athletics, saying it motivates them to keep going despite the increased workload.
“One of my favorite things to do as a multimedia coordinator at Lehigh is telling the unique stories of our student athletes,” said Rohrer. “Everyone is different and I really enjoy helping them make their voices heard.”
Despite uncertainty about what format adjustments the team will face this spring, Lehigh’s Sports Communication and Multimedia division remains poised to share the extraordinary talents and passions of Lehigh’s student-athletes.