Former OBU student Jason Gallagher recently won a national Emmy for Digital Innovation in Sports. Gallagher attended OBU from 2005-2009, and he currently works in video production as senior producer at The Ringer, a sports and pop culture website.
Gallagher won the Emmy for a show that he co-created called “NBA Desktop.” This award is typically given to programs that air on national or international networks like ESPN or Fox Sports. Gallagher’s entry won against competition from MLB.com, ESPN, SI TV (Sports Illustrated), MLB Network, and NBA League Pass.
While at OBU, Gallagher studied everything from journalism to international business to theatre, finally settling on public relations. He was also very involved in extracurricular activities including theatre productions and Campus Activities Board.
“It was really the totality of my whole OBU experience that pushed me to chase a dream in production,” Gallagher said. “While I was at OBU, I really tapped into my love of comedy through several avenues. When I was in CAB, I co-created a script writing committee to write sketches for the annual shows.”
Gallagher was also heavily involved in theatre production. He got his big break at OBU when he was cast as the lead in, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.” All of these things combined gave him the confidence to leave OBU early and join The Second City comedy school in Chicago in 2009.
In 2011, Gallagher co-wrote and produced a musical about the 2011 NBA Lockout with a fellow OBU alum, Ben Fort.
“Fast forward a couple years and my love for stage production evolved into a love of video production,” he said. “Without those avenues to flex my comedy and producing muscles at OBU, I don’t think I’d be where I am today.”
He recalls many professors who heavily influenced his time at OBU. However, there was one who really impacted his love for theatre and stage production.
“Dr. Joyce Aldridge [assistant professor of theatre] actually had quite the impact on me. She gave a very impassioned speech to my Welcome Week group about theatre and the arts that always stuck with me and eventually encouraged me to take a leap and audition for plays.”
Gallagher says that the decision to submit the show for Emmy consideration was a bit on a whim and in the words of one colleague, a way to “shoot our shot.” When asked what he would say to encourage students to follow their dreams, his answer was simple and connected back to this same philosophy.
“Sometimes it’s OK to not be sure what you want to do,” he said. “The best advice I could ever give is work hard to provide for yourself and your family while making time to chase hard after your passions. In 2019, it’s never been easier to ‘shoot your shot’ so long as you put in the work. Add faith and you never know what will happen.”
In his spare time, he enjoys making videos with his 5-year-old son. They have a YouTube channel that they post superhero videos and vlogs on frequently. He also enjoys going to the beach and playing basketball.
For more information about OBU, visit www.okbu.edu.
With its campus located in Shawnee, OBU offers 10 bachelor’s degrees with 88 fields of study and five master’s degree programs. The Christian liberal arts university has an overall enrollment of 2.011, with students from 37 states and 40 other countries. OBU has been rated as one of the top 10 regional colleges in the West by U.S. News and World Report for 27 consecutive years and has been Oklahoma’s highest rated regional college in the U.S. News rankings for 25 consecutive years. OBU is one of three universities in Oklahoma and the only private Oklahoma university listed on Great Value College’s rankings of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest. Forbes.com consistently ranks OBU as a top university in Oklahoma and the Princeton Review has named OBU one of the best colleges and universities in the western United States for 14 consecutive years.