Islander Alumni Enjoy High-Profile Assignments in Sports, Entertainment

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Two Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi alumni scored supporting roles in productions whose audiences were measured in the millions.

Islander alumna Tamer Knight ’17 was selected by NBC Sports Group to cover one of the biggest athletic competitions in the world of sports journalism: the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which due to the pandemic, took place in summer 2021.

“I waited for over a year just to do this one job, but it was so well worth the wait,” Knight said.

Knight graduated from the Island University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sports Management and made the decision during her third year as an Islander to focus on sports communications. Knight credits Dr. Misty Kesterson, TAMU-CC Clinical Associate Professor of Kinesiology along with communication instructor Ruth Aipperspach for giving her confidence to move forward with her career choice.

“Professor Aipperspach was the first person who told me, ‘You're actually really good at this,’” Knight said.

Since her days as an undergraduate Islander, Knight has made great strides in her career and education. In 2020, she graduated with a Master of Arts in Communication and Public Relations from the University of Houston. She also appeared as a showrunner for CNN, was a student reporter for ESPNU Campus Connection, and was the in-game host and in-arena personality for the University of Houston Women’s basketball team for the 2019-2020 season.

I waited for over a year just to do this one job, but it was so well worth the wait.

Tamer Knight '17

This summer, Knight spent a month in Stamford, Connecticut, where she worked as a production assistant for the show Tokyo Tonight for the NBC Sports Group. The site was NBC’s United States headquarters for Olympics TV production coverage.

“Tokyo Tonight was similar to Jimmy Fallon’s show or ‘The Tonight Show.’ They talked about sports, obviously; they highlighted the key moments, but it was a lot of laughs and jokes,” Knight said. “The show was on for 4 1/2 hours for about 16 days straight.”

With Summer Olympics now a memory, Knight says she would like to continue working in sports as a sports reporter, and someday host her own show.

“I don’t have one end goal, if that makes sense,” Knight said. “But I definitely want to work in sports because that’s my main focus and that’s what I feel is my area of expertise.”

Don’t be afraid to try new things and be nice. You will go so far in this industry if you are friendly and helpful.

Derek Dubois '12

Alumnus Derek Dubois ‘12 is another Islander who has experienced high-profile success after his time at TAMU-CC. 

Dubois, a theatre major, was featured in productions such as “Arabian Nights,” “Urinetown: the Musical,” and “Last Days of Judas Iscariot” during his time on the Island. More recently, he has worked on multiple big-name productions, including Marvel’s TV miniseries “WandaVision.”

“As a Visual Effects Coordinator for ‘WandaVision,’ my main job is to basically be the middleman between my VFX Supervisor – the lead creative for VFX on the show – and the VFX vendors who are building and creating the shots for us,” Dubois said. “I take notes from the director of the studio and relay them back to my assigned vendors as well as get them any material they need such as set reference, lidar scans of the actors or sets, and other such data.”

He also worked as a visual effects production assistant for the Disney film “Jungle Cruise,” helping with the schedule and keeping in contact with the director’s assistant for reviews.

Dubois said he is currently working on Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” as a visual effects coordinator, which will come out March 2022.

Dubois says Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s theatre program taught him how to deal with stress and unexpected curve balls. His advice to Islanders looking to make it big in show business?

“Don’t be afraid to try new things and be nice,” he said. “You will go so far in this industry if you are friendly and helpful. People love to work with someone they can trust and know that they will keep a positive attitude during high-stress moments.”