A professor speaks to a group of students sitting in the film viewing room with black and white film on the screen over his shoulder.

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Professional Writing graduate crafts stories as post-production editor at ESPN

Sam with computer in background

Samantha “Sam” Nicodemo ’15 believes in crafting her future. The native of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, started her education at York College thinking she wanted to be a screenwriter. A big fan of television and movies, she wanted to put her creative juices to work in creating future programs. But, Nicodemo says, she always had in the back of her mind that she should choose a field of study that gave her options. That’s why she decided to major in Professional Writing.

In her classes, she learned to write in a variety of styles and voices, but she kept her eyes on the entertainment industry with a Film Studies minor. About halfway through college, Nicodemo considered pursuing a double major in Mass Communication. “When I realized that would extend my education by a whole year, I tried to get creative to save myself the time,” she says. Instead, her advisor suggested she pursue a second minor, allowing her to get some of the classes that interested her without adding the time to her college experience.

The extra classes Nicodemo pursued turned into a self-designed Video Production Minor. It led her to an internship with CBS 21 in Harrisburg, where she worked in the Creative Services Department and saw the commercial side of production. When she graduated in 2015, her internship supervisor suggested she apply for a position with a sister station.

From the East to West and home again

That led Nicodemo to Las Vegas, Nevada, where she worked as a Promotions Producer for NBC News 3. She did everything from write, shoot, and edit commercials and promotions for the local station. She often worked with the news department to write teasers and edit short commercials for the stories they had planned. She also did some commercial and promotional event work. 

After about a year, Nicodemo wanted to return to the East Coast. That’s when a position opened up with CBS 21, where she had originally interned. The manager of the Commercial Department quickly recruited Nicodemo as a commercial producer. She wrote, shot, directed, and edited all of her own work.

“It was there that I gained the freedom and confidence to try a lot of new things,” she says. “I really honed my skills and took a lot more chances using design and animation.”

More than sports

When it came time for Nicodemo to take the next step in her career, she found a job listing for a post-production editor at ESPN and applied. The first time she stepped onto the campus in Bristol, Connecticut, her gut told her she was in the right place.

At ESPN, Nicodemo works with producers to create longform content for the network. She’s had a hand in a variety of different brands and sports programs under the ESPN umbrella, including E60, Cover Story, and Outside the Lines. She’s also worked with NFL Countdown, Monday Night Football, SportsCenter, NFL, NBA, College Football, and Boxing. “Any day I could be working on a different sport or show with a different team of producers,” she says.

Most recently, Nicodemo finished a full feature called After the Storm that aired during E60’s Father’s Day show. The program followed football player Marquise Goodwin and his wife on their journey to become parents. “What I do goes beyond sports and really dives further into the lives of players and their careers,” she says. “It’s a chance for me to tell their unique stories.”

Nicodemo looks back at her time at York College and says that’s where she learned to adapt her voice to different mediums. “Professional Writing not only made me versatile, but it made me crave versatility in a career,” she says. “I grew up hoping to find the medium that spoke to my writing abilities, and I found it at YCP. Editing videos has become my form of poetry.”