Bavaria Haus Miami Commercial

I wrote, produced and directed this commercial as my final assignment during my internship with Accord Production in the Summer of 2016 in Miami, FL.

I was associate producer to many commercials like the one featured below and was the producer for a show that is shot live called “Eat This, Drink That, Go!” featuring Jimmy Cefalo, Emmy-award winning journalist and the radio voice of the Miami Dolphins.


Sister Jean is Small in Stature but has a Big Impact

*This article was originally published by the Loyola Phoenix*

This article won the Illinois College Press Association’s Award for Best Non-Daily Sports Feature in February 2017.

It’s safe to say that Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM, is the Loyola men’s  basketball team’s biggest fan. When she’s not handing out prayer cards to distraught students during exams or being swarmed by admirers like a rock star, Sister Jean can be found doing what she loves most: cheering on the Ramblers from her seat at the scorer’s table.

While it may seem odd that a 97-year-old nun from San Francisco would be so passionate about basketball, Sister Jean said she developed a love for all sports when she was working as an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles. The school where she taught in the early 1950s lacked any kind of sports program, and Sister Jean said she was worried that shortage was affecting her students negatively.

“I went to the school’s pastor and said, ‘Look, we don’t have any sports. Why don’t we start some teams?’” said Sister Jean. “The pastor liked the idea and told me to take care of it, so we set up seventh and eighth-grade football, basketball, soccer and, believe it or not, yo-yo. I ended up as head coach of our women’s basketball team.”

After teaching in Los Angeles, Sister Jean accepted a job in the education department at Mundelein College in 1961, when it was still an all-female Catholic college. Although Mundelein had its own basketball team, Sister Jean said she would go watch the Loyola men’s team whenever she could. But it wasn’t until 1963, when Loyola won its first and only men’s basketball championship, that Sister Jean truly became a fan.

“I remember that night so well: Another sister and I were watching the game on tape-delay on a little, black-and-white TV,” Sister Jean said. “Around midnight, when the broadcast of the game was over, all the Loyola boys came to Mundelein and grabbed the girls and began celebrating. You could hear them chanting up and down Sheridan all night long. They almost made it up to Evanston!”

In 1991, Mundelein College became affiliated with Loyola, and Sister Jean finally became an official member of the Rambler family. Three years later, she was asked to be the chaplain for the men’s basketball team and she’s held that title ever since. While she no longer travels with the team, Sister Jean goes to every home game and is always available for her players.

“As chaplain, the players know they can come talk to me whenever they wish,” she said. “And I also pray with them before the game, but it’s not the same prayer that I recite in front of the fans. I make sure to let the team know who they need to watch out for on the other side.”

While her scouting reports certainly help the Ramblers overcome their opponents, Sister Jean said she believes there is more to the team’s success than just X’s and O’s. Sister Jean said that without faith or hope in God, the team would be nowhere near as good as it is now.

“Regardless of religious culture or background, we all talk the same language to God,” she said. “That’s why we teach the three W’s: worship, work and win.”

You can’t win without work, and you can’t work without worship. Sister Jean has come to embody this ethos with her unbridled and passionate dedication to the Loyola men’s basketball team. Hopefully the players will be hearing her pregame scouting reports for many more years to come.

Sorry Cubs Fans, Not Everyone is Happy Your Team Won

*This article was originally published by the Loyola Phoenix*

Sorry, but I just couldn’t buy into the whole “Cubs Fan charm,” or whatever you want to call it.

Sure, it’s pretty neat that the Cubs finally broke the 108-year-old “Billy Goat Curse” while I’m living in Chicago. It’s kinda cool when anything happens for the first time in 108 years, but that’s beside the point.

The Cubs winning the World Series is a rarity, but that’s about it.

Much to the disbelief of my friends, many of whom are Chicago natives and lifelong Cubs fans, I wasn’t rooting for the “lovable losers.” Don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t rooting for the Cubs to lose, either. I just refused to join the bandwagon unlike the majority of the Cubs’ fanbase during the postseason.

I’m a Miami Marlins fan, despite the Marlins organization doing everything in its power to make me say otherwise. That’s mostly because I grew up in Miami and support most of the local teams by default. So, the Marlins winning the World Series in 2003 was one of the best moments of my life. That victory wouldn’t have been possible if not for the Steve Bartman incident. When Bartman reached over the left field railing and prevented Moises Alou from catching a fly ball in the eighth inning, he unwittingly altered the history of two franchises. To this day, I can see the disturbed flashbacks in Cubs fans’ eyes triggered by any mention of my Marlins fandom.

My time in Chicago has left me with an odd sense of guilt that I’m almost partially to blame for extending the curse. My team made the Cubs’ drought worse, so it felt wrong to celebrate the end of suffering that I somehow helped to extend — regardless of how ridiculous that seems.

Of course, the Marlins winning in 2003 pales in comparison to when the best player in the league — Dwyane Wade — re-signed with the Miami Heat and convinced LeBron James and Chris Bosh to join him on South Beach. The Big Three coming to Miami my senior year of high school was, without a doubt, the most important moment in my 23 years as a fan.

From 2010 to 2014, my favorite team was the center of the sports world. The Heat led the 6 p.m. SportsCenter almost every night, and every little issue was magnified and blown out of proportion by the sports world. Remember “Bumpgate” and “Crygate,” the situations when James bumped into head coach Erik Spoelstra and when the team was criticized for allegedly crying in the locker room after a regular season loss to the Bulls? These instances were proof that the hype surrounding the team made every game an extremely tense affair. Each victory was greeted with relief, not jubilation.

This tension was only compounded once I moved to Chicago in year two of the Big Three era. I faced an unrelenting wave of trash-talk on SportsCenter and from my friends whenever the Heat lost. Mind you, these were Bulls fans, the same team that lost to the Heat in the Conference Finals. Whenever the Heat won, I felt vindicated and relieved, not happy.

While I wouldn’t trade the Big Three era for anything, the experience was only enjoyable once the season was over.

Is my inability to find any enjoyment or charm in the Chicago Cubs’ World Series victory harbored by some underlying, petty resentment toward Chicago fans?

It probably is, and I truly wish I could enjoy the Cubs winning the World Series as much as the average sports fan. But as a member of #TeamPetty, the Heat’s spiteful fanbase, I really don’t care if you supported your team through decades of disappointment. That doesn’t mean I have to root for your team, too, and it certainly doesn’t mean I’m going to celebrate with you, either.

Let’s not forget one fact: all those Chicago fans who were trash-talking me in 2012 were wearing Blackhawks jerseys.

Kraussel is Loyola’s King of “The Dab”

*This article was originally published by the Loyola Phoenix.*


No, that’s not Paul Pogba or Cam Newton dabbing on Hoyne Field after another goal by the Loyola men’s soccer team (12-1-1, 5-0-1). It’s junior midfielder Brody Kraussel, whose play on the wing this season has helped the men’s soccer team climb to No. 11 in the country and the top of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) standings.

Kraussel’s nine assists this season have him tied for second in Division I men’s soccer, and they’re one reason why the Ramblers expect to make some noise at the NCAA tournament in November.

Higher expectations for the team also bring extra pressure, but the business marketing major said he is doing his part to ensure the Ramblers stay loose on and off the field.

“I like to keep a fun feel in the locker room. I think everyone knows we are a good team and we all want to live up to how good we are, and it’s kind of been showing this season,” said Kraussel. “I feel like people might get too amped up before games. So, if my teammates see me messing around a bit before games, they can feed off my relaxed state. ”

That’s where the Dab comes in. The Dab is a dance move usually performed after a great play that has been popularized by athletes including Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

“I’ve been known to dance in the locker room before or after games. Dabbing is definitely one of my best moves,” said Kraussel. “I just like to bring that carefree energy and make it feel like it’s just a regular training session.”

The Milwaukee native has quietly assumed a larger leadership role in his third year on the team. Senior right back Kirill Likhovid said he has noticed Kraussel motivating teammates during practice more this season than in past years.

“Every practice, there are one or two guys who keep the intensity going, and Brody has been taking that role recently,” said Likhovid. “Sometimes, everyone is sluggish and tired, and you’ll see Brody edging everybody on.”

Kraussel and Likhovid are three seasons into their partnership on the right side. Kraussel is extremely likable and has great chemistry with his teammates, according to Likhovid. The winger’s connection with his teammates, and the team’s newfound attacking mindset, has helped Kraussel reach new levels of performance, Likhovid said.

“He’s improved a lot in his one-versus-one play and his service has gotten better this year, but I think it’s also a result of our whole team playing better and attacking more,” Likhovid said. “It allows him more freedom to take his man on, and he’s getting the ball in attacking positions.”

Kraussel attributed his stellar play to the support he receives from his parents, who were also college athletes. He said sports are an easy way to bond with his family, who regularly attends home games and tailgates.

“I’m definitely blessed to have my parents at every home game,” Kraussel said. “My mom and dad are really involved and have really bought into the Rambler culture and soccer team since I’ve been here.”

While Kraussel said the assists and attention he receives feel great, he is focused on the team’s continued success and ensuring it reaches its full potential.

“It feels great to be one of the assist leaders, but I don’t really focus on the stats much,” said Kraussel. “My overall goal is to win games. The most important goal right now is to win the MVC and do well in the NCAA Tournament.”

Kraussel and the Loyola men’s soccer team are scheduled to face off against Northwestern University on Oct. 26.