Ian Roth is a graduate student at Eastern University who has a passion for sports. He received his bachelor’s degree in Middle Education and is currently earning his master’s degree in Multicultural Education. His interview segment with Eastern athletics, Athletes in Focus, allows for student athletes to express themselves and their passions in a unique way that otherwise, they may not be able to.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase the people that we have at Eastern and kinda show the followers of EU athletics who our athletes are and all the great things they’re doing – in the classroom, in the community and everywhere else,” said Roth.
Eastern athletics is close to Roth’s heart, as he was a baseball player on the Eastern team. It was there that Athletes in Focus was born. Roth explained that it started with him casually interviewing his teammates, but it quickly evolved into more.
“It started last year,” said Roth, “where I would, in a less structured and comical way, I would interview baseball players. We’d piece those clips together and post them on baseball’s page, and then it just went from there.”
The videos took off, and soon Roth was interviewing athletes almost weekly. Now, he interviews athletes from every sport as frequently as possible. He says he loves giving students the opportunity to share who they are and what they care about with the rest of the Eastern community.
“We try to capture who the athletes are, not just on the field but what they do and what life as a student athlete is like. Hearing about how they balance that with the other activities that they’re involved in and getting to know some of the things that matter to them, the people that have made an impact. It’s just a spotlight on athletes and also an opportunity for prospective students to get an idea of what life is like as a student athlete,” said Roth.
Alongside his love of sports, Roth also has a deep love for Eastern University as a whole. He could hardly articulate how many different ways he loves the school, but was able to narrow it down to a top three.
“I love the Christian community. When I was looking for colleges I wasn’t exactly limiting myself to Christian, but the community and the comradery students have is amazing. I also love the opportunities I have had as a student to flourish, not only academically but in seeking my passions outside of the classroom through clubs, sports, leadership; I’ve felt a lot of confidence in doing what I love. And I love the general area that we’re in. Wayne and Radnor is a great area, I’ve made a lot of connections here. I’ve made a lot of connections through student teaching, and I’m hoping to set my roots here after school. It’s so great because you’re not quite in the city, but it’s at access,” said Roth.
When conducting his interviews, Roth loves learning about all about the athlete he is speaking to. He enjoys finding out about their passions and interests, but also their seemingly less-important preferences.
“Every video we try to do a speed round at the end so well, so questions like Wawa or Sheetz, favorite place to eat in Wayne, or if you were stranded on an island what you would bring with you,” said Roth. “My other favorite would be probably who has impacted you the most in your life. Because we all have people who have impacted us, and that’s a question where I get to hear more of the personal side of their story. A lot of the athletic or academic questions you get some of the same answers, like there’s variety in all of it, but you really get to see that personal journey when you ask who’s influenced them the most.”
No matter what sport they play or their other interests, Roth wants to get to the heart of the athletes of Eastern and showcase who they and how they excel in all areas of their lives.