The Los Angeles Kings and the Kings Care Foundation named Karen Goodheart (pictured, B.A. Public Relations '11) the winner of the Michael Jund Sports Media Scholarship Award on Monday during the Kings-Columbus Blue Jackets game.
Goodheart, who grew up in Las Vegas, won the $3,000 scholarship thanks to a resume filled with sports media work at the USC Sports Information office, where she has assisted the media both in the office and at various high-level athletic events. She has also interned for Sun Valley Magazine in Idaho.
"It was with great pleasure and enthusiasm that the Los Angeles Kings awarded Karen Goodheart our annual Michael Jund Sports Media Scholarship," said Kings senior director of communications Jeff Moeller (pictured below, far left with Jund's aunt and father, Goodheart, and Kings mascot Bailey). "During her time at USC, Karen has gained a great deal of hands-on experience in the school's sports information department, and those experiences will greatly benefit her as she begins her career following graduation. Karen was an outstanding candidate for our award and she is an outstanding recipient of our award. The Trojan Family should be very proud."
The award is named after former Kings media relations assistant Michael Jund, who passed away due to a heart condition at the age of 22. The award is based upon the qualities that made Jund an excellent worker — strong technical knowledge of sports, superior media/public relations writing and communication skills, dedication to the job and an ever-present positive attitude. It is designed to reward hard-working college students who shared his goal of working in the communications side of the sports industry.
"Karen is a bright woman, exhibits good social skills, presents a favorable outlook and has a lot of self-confidence, maturity and class," said USC Sports Information director Tim Tessalone, who nominated Goodheart for the award. "What sets her particularly apart is that she is an extremely dedicated and loyal worker. We can always count on her. She has an eagerness to thrive in the sports publicity field and is always looking to broaden her horizons, both at USC and outside the university."
Goodheart said she was both honored and excited to win the award.
"There are so many other deserving students that could have won," she said. "I’m really appreciative. It was great to meet the Jund family. It’s really amazing that they remember Michael by helping other students."
After college, Goodheart plans to attend graduate school and stay involved in sports or sports public relations.
Her advice for younger or incoming college students is to get involved with extracurricular activities as soon as possible.
"When I came in I didn’t know I wanted to be involved in sports and sort of fell into the internship," said Goodheart, who is also minoring in business law. "It’s absolutely changed my direction in life. The most important thing for students to remember is it’s never too early to get an internship."
She said working in the Sports Information office and taking classes by professor Dan Durbin and adjunct professor Jeff Fellenzer have been some of her highlights of college.
"Interning at Sports Information has completely changed my college experience for the better," she said. "They’re so willing to help students and give us the opportunity to gain work experience."
USC Annenberg alumna Ashley Hanley (B.A. Communication '09) was the 2008 winner of the Michael Jund Sports Media Scholarship Award.