American Studies Major Directs NFL Health and Safety Policies

American studies major Jacob Frank started with an internship and seasonal job with the National Football League and then moved into a permanent job with the league’s health and safety policy department that he now manages. (Getty Images)

Professors Encouraged His Love of Sports and Interest in Marketing

Editor’s note: This alumni success story is presented here as it was first published in the College of Letters and Science Magazine in 2016.

For some, nothing is more American than football. So it seems appropriate that Jacob Frank ’11, who earned a degree in American studies in 2011, works for the National Football League.

After an internship and a seasonal job with NFL communications, he landed a job with the league’s new health and safety policy department in 2013 and now manages it.

“Since American studies is an interdisciplinary major, it provided me with the necessary tools to work, think and be successful in multiple organizational units within the NFL,” said Frank, 28.

“What I am most grateful for is that it taught me how to write. In communications and player health and safety at the NFL, we write — a lot.”

Multiple disciplines in major prepared him well

Andrew Frank
Jacob Frank

Frank says his major also brought him into contact with professors and students from many disciplines and backgrounds, which prepared him for the job as well.

“I interact daily with world-renowned neurosurgeons, engineers, orthopedists, cardiologists, ophthalmologists, lawyers, academics and even football coaches,” said the Encinitas, California, native. “Each possesses a different personality style and thought process that I am able to recognize and accommodate.”

Found small classes and profs open to student innovation

Along with being cross-disciplinary, American studies (which was recently elevated to departmental level) has a good student-to-professor ratio and small class sizes, and is open to innovation by students.

 “They encouraged me to combine my passion for sports and my interest in marketing and management. American studies allowed me to pursue a rigorous academic schedule while permitting me to tie in the sports,” said Frank.

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist for the College of Letters and Science