American Studies Grad Leads NFL Health and Safety

Jacob Frank, American Studies graduate
Jacob Frank

For some, nothing is more American than football. So it seems appropriate that Jacob Frank, 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, who graduated in 2011. “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.”

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.”

Along with being cross-disciplinary, American Studies (which was recently elevated to departmental level) has a good student-to-professor ratio, 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 in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science