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Exploring Careers

Falk in D.C. Trip An ‘Amazing Experience’ for 27 Falk College Students

A large group of students are posed in a hall

Falk College students with Chinny Nwagbo ’05 (in center of back row) while touring the NFL Players’ Association, where Nwagbo is Director of Player Programs and Engagement. Students learned about athlete representation, sports marketing, and player wellness programs, including nutrition, professional development, mental health, and legal services.


The Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University is a unique college with a diversity of programs from Exercise Science to Social Work to Sport Analytics.

The common denominator is Falk’s focus on experiential learning, and this past fall 27 students representing on-campus and online programs from all departments participated in one of the college’s most immersive experiences: the “Falk in D.C. Career Exploration Trip” hosted by the Office of Career Services.

It was the third Falk in D.C. trip, but the first that included separate tracks for health/human services and sport-related careers, with all attending Falk students joining together for select site visits and panels that represented both health and sport professionals. The students engaged with alumni and employer representatives from 28 Washington, D.C., and Baltimore area organizations through site visits and panels, and even more at the alumni networking reception.

“The combined nature of the trip allowed many students to expand their professional interests and discover the overlap between health and sport professions,” says David Sly, associate director of career services. “Over the course of the trip, all attending students demonstrated new or improved ability and confidence in career skills including networking, industry knowledge, communication, and awareness of professional values.”

Health students met with representatives from the FDA, USDA, CDC, Bread for the City, Urban Institute, and MedStar, among many others. Sport students met with representatives from several organizations, including Under Armour, Big League Advantage, Washington Commanders, Monumental Sports and Entertainment, DC United, and Leveling the Playing Field.

All students participated in visits with the NFL Players’ Association, Washington Nationals, Building Bridges Across the River, Living Classrooms Foundation, and PeacePlayers, International.

“The Falk in D.C. Career Immersion Trip gave me the opportunity to learn about the vast array of options that will be there for me post-graduation in the public health field,” says public health major Brinda Parikh ’26. “Being able to hear firsthand from industry professionals about their experiences throughout their careers was very eye-opening, and this trip helped me grow my network of Syracuse University alums that could help me in my own career in the future.”

Syracuse University alumni standing in a line one male and 5 females

Syracuse University alumni participated in the Falk in D.C. Government Service Panel hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. From left to right, Andrew Kelleher ‘09 (clinical reviewer at the FDA’s Office of New Drugs); Cheri Hoffman ’95 (Deputy Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families); Madeleine Williams ’21 (USDA FNS program analyst); Kemba Ford ’02 (Director, Division of Communication, FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health); Melissa Zajdel ’15 (American Association for the Advancement of Science Science and Technology Policy Fellow, NIH); and Kesia Purcell ’11 (U.S. Public Health Service Officer).


When the students returned from D.C., Career Services asked for their reflections of the trip, how it fit into their decision to attend Syracuse University, and their career goals. Here, we’re sharing responses from five students from across the college: master of social work student Nicole Corrente, public health major Tommy DaSilva ’26, health and exercise science major Alexia Harris ’26, sport management major Brianna Nechifor ’26, and sport analytics major Liam Roberts ’27.

Why did you choose Syracuse University and Falk College?

Alexia Harris: I chose health and exercise science because I have always loved studying the way the body works and moves. I chose Syracuse University because its program is amazing and has already set me up for success in my first semester here.

Tommy DaSilva: I chose both of my majors (public health and policy studies) because I wanted to be able to improve the lives of others through government action or nonprofit community work.

Brianna Nechifor: I chose to become a sport management major because I was encouraged to enter the industry by my tennis coaches and friends who saw my burning passion for sports. I chose Syracuse University because of the community and opportunities that are available to me, including the Sales and Marketing Club, Sport Management Club, and WISE (Women in Sports and Events).

Nicole Corrente: I’m a graduate student of social work who’s originally from Syracuse, so choosing Syracuse University was a natural fit.

Liam Roberts: Outside of school my biggest passion has always been sports and in school I always enjoyed math and working with numbers. As a result, the sports analytics major was perfectly catered to what I am interested in and what I want to do in life. The opportunities this major provides, including ones like this D.C. trip, were not available anywhere else and it’s ultimately why I chose to attend Syracuse.

What are your top three highlights so far from your Syracuse University experience and what are your career goals?

Brianna Nechifor: My top three highlights have to be the introduction of the new esports major, a field that I am very passionate about; the Falk in D.C. Exploration Trip; and the Sport Management Charity Sport Auction (shoutout to the Sales Committee!). My ultimate career goal is to work in esports, possibly in event management.

Nicole Corrente: My top three highlights have been my graduate coursework and research; the Falk in D.C. trip; and all the amazing connections I’ve made along the way. In the future, I plan to have a career in anti-trafficking efforts as a therapist for survivors of trafficking.

Alexia Harris: My top three highlights so far are setting up my internship with strength and conditioning in the athletics complex for next semester; being able to go on the Falk in D.C. trip; and all the different campus opportunities available. My ultimate career goal is either to go into athletic training or sports nutrition.

Liam Roberts: My Syracuse experience has only just begun, so my highlights are likely still to come. But so far, my No. 1 highlight would definitely be this trip, while other great experiences are connecting with Professor (Shane) Sanders and participating in the basketball and baseball analytics clubs.

Tommy DaSilva: Highlights of Syracuse so far have been my service-learning work with International Services and the YWCA; the work done by my organization SAPHE (Student Association of Public Health Education); and the professional connections I have been able to make. I don’t have a specific ultimate career goal as I’m open to any opportunities that come my way, as long as they can be used to help someone in some way.

Four young woman standing in a circle with drinks in hand at Mission Navy Yard

More than 100 students and Syracuse University alumni gathered at the the Mission Navy Yard restaurant for food, photos, and networking fun.


What is your most memorable takeaway from the Falk in D.C. trip?

Liam Roberts: I engaged with and explored exciting opportunities within the sports industry that I would have otherwise never been able to experience, and in a manner that was fun and interesting. This experience was one that I could not see myself getting anywhere else and I’m glad I had the opportunity to join.

Alexia Harris: This trip provided me with exposure to a lot of different employment opportunities and fields that I had never thought about before, as well as connecting me to a wide variety of people.

Tommy DaSilva: This trip gave me insight into potential careers that I would have never thought possible without these face-to-face conversations.

Brianna Nechifor: I was able to interact with a variety of perspectives in the sports industry, even those you may not think you have a connection with them. Everything is in one way connected, and this trip can help shift your opinions on different sectors of the industry. It’s honestly something you shouldn’t be afraid to apply for!

Nicole Corrente: This was an amazing experience! This trip provided me with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to meet representatives from the CDC, HHS, ACFS, and several nonprofit agencies. Learning about these organizations taught me a lot about the importance of a strong work ethic and an open mind. I look forward to staying connected to the Syracuse University alumni that I met and staying engaged with the work they’re doing in D.C.

Students interested in the “Falk in D.C.” trip in the Fall 2024 semester can watch a video summary of the trip and find Fall 2024 updates on the Falk Careers home page.