CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 28, 2015 — Southeast Missouri State University alumnus Brad Cygan of St. Louis, Missouri, has rolled his interest in public relations into his passion for athletics as the Missouri Baptist University director of sports information.
Every day when he goes into work, he gets the chance to help a student athlete in his or her path to success.
“I couldn’t ask for a better environment to influence the lives of student-athletes and to teach this profession to students,” he says. “Having the opportunity to take the field I love and combine it with a sports atmosphere is beyond what I could have possibly hoped for after graduating. I love going to work every day, and that is a rare thing.”
What makes it all much better is the relationship that he not only shares with his students, but also with his boss.
“I couldn’t ask for a better environment to influence the lives of student-athletes and to work under an athletic director who fully supports the work that we do,” he says. “The last of those statements is not the case in every collegiate athletic department, so to have a close relationship with my boss and to know that he listens to our suggestions, is a big plus.”
At Southeast, Brad earned a Bachelor of Science in communications with an emphasis in public relations with a minor in political science. He credits Southeast for giving him the foundation for building his career.
His education, he said, “put me in a position to succeed in the communication field. Though I went the advertising route for a few years, I returned to public relations and took the lessons taught to me at Southeast and put them into action. I feel that my education has had a direct impact on the success that I have found in sports information.”
Brad says he chose Southeast because it was the best fit for him and he liked the comfort Cape Girardeau offers.
“I visited a lot of schools, not unlike any other high school student looking for their next educational opportunity. Southeast was the perfect fit for me,” he says. “I visited the University of Missouri, Murray State and others, but Southeast had a great feel of campus and community that I gravitated to immediately. That feeling only grew over the years as both Southeast and Cape Girardeau became my home away from home.”
Southeast, he says, allowed him to grow both professionally and personally.
“There are a lot of great memories with my time in the Greek system at Southeast as a Sigma Chi,” he says. “In the end, it was my first day working in the Southeast Sports Information Department as an intern which was my favorite memory.”
When not on the job, which is rare, Brad can be found running marathons.
“I have grown to love running and ran my first half-marathon last year. I have set my sights on running a full marathon next year, so we’ll see how that goes,” he says.
To Southeast students he offers this advice:
“Really pay attention in class and always have your sights set on the ultimate prize of getting a job in a field you enjoy. Begin doing internships early, even if they are not for credit, and volunteer for things that will get you experience. No matter what, though, enjoy your time at Southeast. You only get that true college experience for a short time, so live in the moment and enjoy all of it,” he says.