MEET YOUR PROFESSOR – Sue Cornelius Edson
Sue Cornelius Edson is assistant director of athletics for communications at Syracuse University, as well as a professor of public relations, teaching sports public relations in the Newhouse School. She received her Bachelor’s in broadcast journalism and policy studies from the Newhouse and Maxwell schools in 1990. She became an assistant sports information director at Syracuse University that same year and became the director of athletic communications in 1997. Edson was promoted to assistant director of athletics for communications in August 2006. Edson’s husband, Rob, was an athletics administrator at Syracuse for 20 years before becoming the athletics director at Onondaga Community College in August 2011. They have two kids, Thomas and Tracey. Thomas is in eighth grade, and Tracey is in fifth grade. They both attend Jamesville-DeWitt Middle School.
Q: Do you have any particular interest(s) within public relations?
A: I am the assistant director of athletics for communications. That is my interest. Having studied in the media field and then working in public relations, there has been great cross over.
Q: What motivates you?
A: I have a passion for wanting to talk about and see positives in my teaching. I love the opportunity to share with my students the profession of sports public relations. When I was an undergraduate, I knew the athletic communications staff but never thought about it as a career. The more I talked to people in the field and the department, the more I wanted to get into athletic communications. So I love sharing with students that fact this is an option for a career. If you have a passion for sports, you can work in the field and have fun. It doesn’t feel like work. I’ve never had the same day in 23 years. What also motivates me is putting Syracuse athletics in the best possible light in an honest way. There are so many great stories to tell here, and that motivates me every day. There is nothing like game day, whether at the Carrier Dome or at our daughter’s fifth grade travel basketball game. Every day I come into the office it is game day.
Q: What has been your proudest moment in your communications career?
A: When I watch a student athlete or coach participate in an interview and they feel they succeeded in that setting. The public expects them to be comfortable in front of a camera or microphone, but it takes learning and getting used to. People expect information from them, and they assume they are able to present their thoughts exactly how they want them to be received. It is a different setting to be ready to answer any question thrown at you.
Personally, one of my proudest moments is when I was inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame last summer. What was most satisfying was that my husband, two kids, mom, sister, step-father and a group of SU colleagues were there to support me. To share something like that with the people who contributed to my success was really special.
Q: Do you have any fun fact(s) about yourself?
A: I enjoy everything I do around work, as well as everything I do in my personal life. I love coaching our kids, being involved in their academics and volunteering in a parent teacher group. I love to garden, as well. The kids and I have a vegetable garden every year, and we plant bulbs that remind us of the times we planted them when they bloom.
Q: What is/are your favorite quote(s)?
A: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” -Sir Winston Churchill
Q: What qualities do you think make a student successful?
A: Passion, enthusiasm and desire. The qualities that cannot be taught. They have to come from within.
Q: What qualities do you think make a person successful?
A: Same as before. In life, you can only be what you want to be. If you wish to change someone else, you have to look within yourself and figure out how to communicate or encourage a person to do something differently. For instance, to get a group to work together, you cannot do things for them, but you can work with them and practice and teach. I can encourage, but people need passion, enthusiasm and desire, and they need to want to learn and succeed.
Q: Do you have a personal message for Newhouse students?
A: Take advantage of every opportunity that is out there, and find those opportunities you don’t know exist.