The Hillsdale Daily News’ former sports editor and Hillsdale College alumnus James Gensterblum ‘12 replaced Brad Monastiere as Hillsdale College’s new Director of Media Relations for Athletics on Mar. 1.
As Monastiere steps down, the Hillsdale College Athletic Department will undergo a shift in job positions. Gensterblum will join the team to increase the written media material released by the department.
Gensterblum said he is excited to step up to the challenge of filling Monastiere’s role.
“Monastiere won multiple awards for his work and he has built an amazing foundation,” Gensterblum said. “So it’s exciting to step into a place where the groundwork has been laid for me, but it’s also a challenge to live up to that standard.”
Gensterblum will primarily be managing and writing for the athletics website, keeping track of all athletics statistics, and dealing with media outreach.
Director of Athletics Don Brubacher said Gensterblum’s background in journalism made him a prime candidate to aid the department in increasing the amount of written media material.
“James is a good writer and he understands the mission and goals of Hillsdale College very well,” Brubacher said.
“It’s quite a large, complex job he is moving into, but we’re excited to structure the position to show his strengths.”
Gensterblum started his writing career with the Hillsdale Daily News when he was a senior in high school. At that time, Gensterblum wrote for the Daily News as a freelancer for $25 per story.
“I’ll never forget I walked into the office and I was expecting an interview process and that I would have to show a bunch of writing samples,” Gensterblum said. “But the editor at the time saw me walk in and he says ‘you’re the guy, here’s a recorder, the game’s at seven, good luck.’”
Gensterblum then went to Hillsdale College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History in December of 2011 before going on to several sports writing and editing jobs. He returned to the Hillsdale Daily News to become the sports editor almost two years ago.
Although the switch from newspaper work to digital media will be a challenge, Gensterblum said he believes the skills he’s developed, like the ability to work on a deadline, will benefit him in his position at Hillsdale.
“I have a set of skills that I feel correlate very well to this field,” Gensterblum said. “The challenge will be learning how to apply those to a new position.”
Gensterblum added that he jumped at the chance to stay in his hometown and work at his alma mater.
“For where I’m at now, the Hillsdale College job seemed way too good of an opportunity to pass up,” Gensterblum said.
Assistant Athletic Director for Media and Community Relations Gwendolyn Buchhop, who attended Hillsdale Academy with Gensterblum, said both his attention to detail in sports and his writing ability will bolster their department.
“He has always been a sports buff. We ran cross-country together and he kept close tabs on all of our high school records as well as state rankings,” Buchhop said. “James has worked all over the state writing about sports and has developed a strong voice and style which will bring a lot to the department.”
Buchhop will be working with Gensterblum as her title has changed from Community Relations Coordinator to Assistant Athletic Director for Media and Community Relations. She will add the duties of website content management and departmental social media strategy to her current tasks.