Active broadcaster pursues broad passions

The University of Miami often preaches to students that college consists of more than just classes.
Sophomore AJ Ricketts has taken that message to heart. The broadcast journalism major from Pensacola, Fla., runs for the varsity cross-country team, takes the helm as the  Student Government press secretary, broadcasts sporting events for WVUM, writes for the Miami Hurricane, broadcasts on UMTV, participates in the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and maintains a high GPA.
“When I’m not in class, I’m doing an activity,” Ricketts said. “Extracurriculars are like another classroom for me because I learn so much from them.”

Some days, Ricketts will have practice for cross-country at 5:30 a.m., then head out to shoot video for UMTV, followed by three hours of class. After that, he will head to the Knight Sports Complex to do commentary for a volleyball game.

“It can get crazy, but I do the things because I have a passion for them,” he said.  “Some of them will help me in the future, some of them I just do because I enjoy the people around me.”

Consistency isn’t a part of Ricketts’s life. His schedule changes every day as different organizations he’s in have events. But, he enjoys the spontaneity of his day-to-day life.

“It’s nice not to get into a routine,” he said. “It’s kind of a real world simulation and gives me a taste of life after college.”

Whether it’s his track teammates or his fellow WVUM broadcasters, Ricketts has impressed many like Alessandria San Roman, SG executive secretary, with his work ethic.

“I don’t think they are many students who work as hard as AJ,” she said. “He makes me want to work more.”

Ricketts’ ambition is to have a career in broadcasting. He has done a number of games for WVUM and continues to work on his craft. He also works for UMTV by creating packages for Sports Desk.

“AJ knows his stuff and never really gets flustered on air,” said Chip Brierre, a WVUM broadcaster. “He just works hard and prepares very well. He’s one of the best broadcasters on WVUM.”

While he enjoys all of his activities, Ricketts’ first love is running. In addition to being part of the cross-country team in the fall, he also is on the track team in the spring. He would like to coach one day while having a career in broadcasting.

“Running is something I’ve been doing my whole life, and I want to do it no matter what happens in the future,” Ricketts said.