Aliyah Funschelle ’20 scores big from applied learning opportunities

Between the NBA draft, summer league and the WNBA season in full swing, sports content creator Aliyah Funschelle ’20 is staying busy this summer. But a full schedule is nothing unusual for this Shocker alumna and entrepreneur.

When she graduated from Wichita State, Funschelle didn’t just leave with a bachelor’s degree in sports management and communication; she also had four years of direct applied learning experiences which she used to create her brand, Sports with Aliyah.

“I can’t say enough good things about the sports management department at Wichita State,” Funschelle said. “They were adamant about using my applied learning experiences to benefit my future goals, which was the best thing that could’ve happened to me.”

While a student, Funschelle took advantage of applied learning opportunities wherever they came up, working as a campus connect correspondent for the American Athletics Conference and a reporter for The Sunflower during her first two years at WSU. In 2018, she began leveraging her own social media following to launch an on-air talk show out of Shocker Studios.

“Working at Shocker Studios was a complete collaborative effort,” Funschelle said. “I was working with players and coaches, but also with media arts students who didn’t have a sports background. It was those diverse perspectives that helped bring me closer to accomplishing my dreams.”

Funschelle transplanted to New York after graduation, a change she describes as challenging but exhilarating. The alumna earned her master’s degree from Columbia University while reporting courtside for the WNBA and flying around the country to attend drafts, games and conferences.

“Sometimes I feel like it would have been easier if I had failed and had to move home,” Funschelle said. “But there’s really nothing more rewarding than seeing years of hard work pay off.”

In six years, Sports with Aliyah has seen tremendous growth, from posting viral content to amassing a following of more than 90,000 across social media platforms. In addition to building momentum for her brand, she aims to help the next generation of sports content creators. She moderates a group chat of 700 members and counting, where others in the industry can collaborate, network and share advice.

“Not everyone had the same opportunities I did,” she said. “I get to live out my dreams every day, and I love that I can now use my experiences to help lift others up.”

See how Funshelle is living her dreams by following along on TikTok @aliyahfunschelle.

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