Alumnus Kristofer Stokes, whose resume includes an exciting stint at ESPN, prides himself on being prepared for any career opportunity that comes his way.
“I'm always open to new challenges that will help me learn and grow personally and professionally,” says Stokes, who recently was honored at a “10 Under 10” alumni reception.
Stokes is currently pursuing new opportunities in the content marketing field, where he can draw on his writing, creative and people skills. The Fall River native – now living in Connecticut -- loves his hometown and the Boston area, where he has wonderful memories of his days as a student-athlete at Suffolk University.
He fondly recalls that a Suffolk mentor put him on course to positions in television, including ESPN.
“Norine Bacigalupo was instrumental in helping me visualize a career path,” says Stokes, who received his bachelor of science degree in Journalism in 2005. “With her guidance, I landed an internship and freelance position with Fox News. That helped set my career in motion.”
For nearly seven years, Stokes worked as a content producer for ESPN's fast-paced in-house advertising group.
“I was challenged to think unconventionally to develop marketing strategies for our biggest client, Sports Center,” he says. “On any given day, I was part copywriter, part social strategist and part video specialist.
“You're on the clock from the moment you step into the building, and whether you're ready or not, the show must go on. When you're in the middle of it all, it’s easy to lose sight of the scope and reach of the entire operation.”
Played Rams baseball
Stokes played baseball for four years at Suffolk and was co-captain for two seasons. He believes that balancing academics and athletics taught him important lessons about time management. And the work habits he developed helped him succeed in the professional workplace.
As a student, Stokes turned to Bacigalupo, a veteran in the Communication and Journalism Department, for mentoring and inspiration.
“She made a strong impression on me, not only in the classroom, but also in the way she conducted herself in the greater Suffolk community,” he says.
“Despite facing serious health issues, she was concerned with her students’ well being. I learned a valuable lesson about helping others even though we may be dealing with a hardship.”
Beyond academics, athletics and mentoring, Suffolk holds a special place in Stokes’ heart because that’s where he met his wife, the former Lisa Antonangeli, who graduated in 2006 and played on the women’s basketball team. She is now a senior talent producer at ESPN, serving as the link between the station’s television programming and thousands of celebrities, expert analysts, coaches and athletes.
They are expecting their first child in September.
For Stokes, working at ESPN was more than a job; it was a labor of love. Over the years, he performed many tasks for one of the most-watched shows on television, and even handled assignments for College Gameday and Monday Night Football.
“I was paid to watch sports, talk about sports and write about sports,” he says. “To say it was not your typical nine-to-five job would be an understatement. There were days I started work at five a.m. and others at five p.m.
“But more than sports, it’s the relationships I built with co-workers and former athletes that made it special.”
10 Under 10 Celebration
Stokes shared his story was with other young alumni who were recognized for their accomplishments at the “10 Under 10” reception hosted by the Alumni Association in April. The 10 alumni honored earned their Suffolk University degrees within the past decade.