Mayat Nooner Breaks Male Dominant Mold

Mayat Nooner Breaks Male Dominant Mold

 Mayat Nooner is a Mass Communications major at the University of Central Oklahoma. She is currently working towards becoming a sports information director. Photo by Cara Johnson, The Vista. 

To the outside world, taking statistics and monitoring the facts of numerous sports may seem mundane and unimportant, but for sophomore Mayat Nooner, there is no better profession.

Nooner is currently working as an assistant to the University of Central Oklahoma’s  Sports Information Director, Chris Brannick.

“She emailed me shortly after I started working here and let me know that she was interested in this line of work. She said that there was nothing for her at UCO but she wanted to get involved,” Brannick said.

Much like Nooner, Brannick is new to the sports information business, but graduated from UCO with a journalism degree.

“I have only been a sports information director for two months but you are the keeper of everything: records, stats, schedules and sports information,” he said.

Nooner is an aspiring sports information director who wants to pursue the logistics side of the athletic world.

I love the fast-paced atmosphere. I like being around sports, especially wrestling. I love that it’s never the same, and it’s always moving forward,” Nooner said.

When she started college, Nooner was a theater major. However she said she soon realized that a profession involving drama on stage and off was not her true passion. 

“I wasn’t happy. It didn’t fulfill me anymore. And I needed to find something that did. Something that wasn’t unhealthily competitive,” she said.

In high school, Nooner collected statistics for the wrestling team and after leaving the theater program, she decided to follow the path of sports.

However, UCO does not offer a major pertaining strictly to sports information.  

“Not enough people know it even exists,” Nooner said.

Instead, Nooner enrolled as a Professional Media major. While she is learning information that will broadly help her career, she is mainly learning the ropes by assisting Brannick. 

Although he has sports media experience and learned quite a bit at UCO, Brannick said he still feels a major catering to this specific job can be helpful to students.

“The only school I have seen in action are at Southern Nazarene; they have a sports administration program as well as a graduate program in the same field.  I imagine those kids are extremely prepared because they are getting to work,” Brannick said.

Nooner said she feels although she can not have a sports media major, she is still learning a lot by aiding Brannick.

“Working with Chris is fun. We are learning together, so it’s an adventure. I think that hands-on experience is a better teacher than anything that can be taught in a classroom,” Nooner said.

This profession is also an industry that is predominantly male because of tradition and the masculinity often associated with sporting events. 

“That could be something similar to journalism where traditionally it was all men. Now, I think there’s plenty of females in the industry, but I think it’s probably one of those positions that because it was in the athletics department it started out as only men work here,” Brannick said.

Although Nooner is not the typical person associated with sports she said she is not worried about her ability to do an excellent job.

“I think my personality and passion are big enough to make up for not being a man. I think that we are in a place in society where it doesn’t matter gender. Anyone can do whatever they want if they have enough passion and drive,” Nooner said. 

For the future, Nooner said she hopes to have a position as a sports media professional with an association that covers her favorite sport.

“Hopefully [in the future I’ll be) working for USA Wrestling, or Flo Wrestling. Possibly as an SID over a larger school’s wrestling program,” Nooner said.

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