Iona College Alumna Works Tokyo Olympic Games with NBC Sports

Applying lessons learned at Iona College to the world’s stage in Tokyo, Japan, Mary Omatiga ’19MA recently returned from the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, where she worked as an Olympic researcher with NBC Sports.

“I got to experience a lot in Tokyo, but I think the highlight of my trip was getting to meet so many incredible and talented people who have honed their craft in this business,” she said. “I’m so encouraged and motivated by my experience and am eager to work harder and see where God takes me next.”

While in Tokyo, Omatiga joined the team behind “Talkin’ Tokyo,” an NBC Olympics broadcast on Twitter. Omatiga also discussed editorial storylines with hosts of the show, attended photoshoots with production, drafted interview questions and contributed ideas for social media.

Leading up to the Games, Omatiga wrote an Olympic manual for volleyball. “It’s essentially ‘the Bible’ for the sport,” she said. “It provided the history, athlete biographies, competitive outlook and any other context that would help boost the network’s coverage of volleyball during the Games.”

Along her journey, Omatiga experienced the benefits of Iona’s brand promise to “Learn Outside the Lines,” saying her time in the Sports Communication & Media program provided the experience she needed to succeed in the field.

“My time at Iona was truly invaluable and I don’t think I’d be where I am today without it,” she said. “The program allowed me to gain a wide range of hands-on experience inside the classroom and connected me with a resourceful network of professionals in the real world. Mike Damergis, Joe D’Aloisio, and so many of my professors always took the time to encourage me, support me, and help connect me with an internship that would sharpen my skills. I am so grateful for them and the lessons I learned at Iona!”

Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona students enjoy small class sizes, engaged professors and a wide array of academic programs across the School of Arts & Science; LaPenta School of Business; NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences; and Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Iona is widely recognized in prestigious rankings, including The Princeton Review’s 2024 national list of “The Best 389 Colleges” and The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse’s “2024 Best Colleges in America,” which ranked Iona at #66 in the nation overall and #8 in the nation among Catholic schools. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is also accredited by AACSB International, a recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide. In addition, The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona also offers a fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which is now principally located on Iona’s Bronxville campus in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian. Connecting to its Irish heritage, the University also recently announced it is expanding abroad with a new campus in County Mayo, Ireland. A school on the rise, Iona officially changed its status from College to University on July 1, 2022, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.