Samantha Quen ’20 and Jesse Roberts ’20 Named Co-Recipients of the 2020 Roemmich Award

2020 Roemmich "Hammer" Award Co-Recipients

Each year, the Department of Sport Management bestows its highest honor, the Lindsay Roemmich Sport Management Achievement Award, to the graduating senior who has best exemplified excellence in the program during their time at Rice. The Roemmich Award recognizes Sport Management students who best exhibit academic excellence, external sport management experience, positive attitude, and dedication to improving the Rice Sport Management program.

“This award is a way that our department can publicly recognize our students and the tremendous success that they have had during their time at Rice,” said Department Chair Clark Haptonstall. “The winners always make us proud as they go on to successful careers after graduation.”

Samantha Quen '20 co-recipient 2020 Hammer Award

With the outstanding achievements of each and every Sport Management student, the decision to select a single award winner is never an easy one. And this year, there were two graduating students whose accomplishments simply could not go unrecognized. Therefore, the Department of Sport Management has honored both Samantha Quen ’20 and Jesse Roberts ’20 with the 2020 Roemmich Award.

“Both Samantha and Jesse are great students and great people,” Haptonstall said. “They both have taken advantage of their time at Rice by earning a world-class education as well as gaining as much practical experience as possible."

Quen and Roberts have been very active in the department and the professional sport industry, gaining a wealth of skills and knowledge that will serve them well as alumni.

In addition to completing internships with the 2017 Fiesta Bowl, the Houston Rockets, and AMB Group, Quen was a Student Athletic Trainer for Rice's football team during all four years of her studies at Rice. She also worked alongside other Sport Management students at the NFL Honors ceremonies in both Houston and Atlanta, and she served as the Sponsorship Head for Rice Sport Management’s 3v3vCancer event, a charity basketball tournament which raised over $15,000 for cancer research in 2019.

“These experiences were all incredibly valuable to my Rice experience and confirmed my desire to have a career in sports,” said Quen. “I learned the importance of ambition, and how to effectively utilize that towards achieving my goals. I was extremely prepared for every experience through the guidance of our faculty and from the practicality of all Sport Management classes.”

Jesse Roberts '20 co-recipient 2020 Hammer Award

Roberts, a thrower for the Rice track & field team, worked multiple sporting events with the Houston Marathon, InsideOut Sports & Entertainment, and Global Athletics & Marketing, where his duties included greeting and escorting VIPs such as American silver-medal Olympian Meb Keflezighi. He also interned with e-sports company, where he was involved with Operations, Broadcast Production, and representing the company at the 2020 Houston Rodeo prior to its cancellation.

Roberts credits many of the lessons he gained from working these events to the courses and discussions he had with Professor in the Practice Diane Crossey during his four years in the program.

“Events were Professor Crossey’s life for many years, and so she was always dropping tips, tricks, and knowledge on event management and what it looks like,” said Roberts. “I would go into her office, talk to her about events and tell her about all of the problems that had gone on at the events I worked, and she would either explain them or say what they could have done better, which in the end I think really helped me.”

Both Quen and Roberts served on the executive board for the Rice Sport Business Society (RSBS). Quen was the Events Head during the 2017-2018 school year and the Vice President during the following 2018-2019 school year, spearheading Rice Sport Management events such as Gamebreakers, a panel during Owl Days, and RSBS Night at the Astros. Roberts also served as the Events Head from 2018–2019.

The two Roemmich Award co-recipients have each described their positive attitude as a function of the exceptional quality of the Sport Management program. For Roberts, attending Rice for Sport Management was a goal of his ever since middle school, which he says made it easy to be positive as he witnessed the department’s growing success and the faculty’s demonstrations of care and investment in their students. For Quen, the outstanding environment of the Sport Management program inspired her to approach her work with a grateful attitude.

“With a focus on joy, resilience, and gratitude, having a positive mindset has made mere dreams become my reality,” said Quen. “It's easy to be positive about the Sport Management program because it is all-round exceptional. I am so grateful to have been a Sport Management student and my appreciation drove me to want to make the program even better for future students.”

Looking towards the future, Roberts is continuing to work on projects for and will be flying across the country to assist InsideOut Sports & Entertainment with tennis tournaments once play resumes. According to Roberts, receiving the Roemmich Award is an indicator of not only his own success, but the efforts of the department and his peers as well.

“It’s honestly amazing to receive this award,” said Roberts. “I’m still speechless about getting it. I feel like I don’t deserve it, but I think that really just goes to show how hard everyone in the department works.”

Quen will be going on to work as a Consultant at Oliver Wyman, with the department’s full esteem behind her as a 2020 Roemmich Award co-recipient.

“I am so incredibly honored and humbled to receive the Roemmich Award, and I am especially grateful to have been awarded it along with Jesse Roberts, who has been an outstanding friend and peer,” said Quen. “I want to thank Lindsay Roemmich and the Department of Sport Management for recognizing me. It is an honor to join this group of Rice alumni who have contributed a great deal to the program.”

Elliot Stahr, a senior from Irvine, California, is majoring in Psychology and Philosophy.