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University seniors net scholarships thanks to big league collaborations

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Two University of Louisiana at Lafayette seniors have scored scholarships thanks to the state’s only professional sports franchises.

The scholarships awarded to Ana Mata Gomez and Kobe Joiner are the results of academic partnerships between UL Lafayette and the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans.

The University became an Official Higher Education Partner of both teams in late 2019. The three-year collaborations give UL Lafayette students and recent graduates access to internships, practical career experiences and networking opportunities. The Saints and Pelicans are funding two annual scholarships at the University for qualified students. 

Mata Gomez and Joiner are the first recipients of the $5,000 scholarships, which are awarded to juniors and seniors who have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA and plan to pursue careers in sports, tourism or entertainment industries.

Mata Gomez received the New Orleans Saints Scholarship. She is a senior moving image arts major from Franklin, La.

During her time at UL Lafayette, she has been a SOUL Camp mentor and a peer mentor. She is member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and the University’s Honors Program.

Mata Gomez works in the Department of Athletics on broadcast operations, including producing and directing games that are livestreamed on ESPN+ and CST. After graduation, she plans to continue working in sports broadcasting.

Joiner, a senior marketing major from Leesville, La., received the New Orleans Pelicans Scholarship.

While at the University, he has been a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, Pi Sigma Epsilon professional fraternity, and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns football team. Joiner has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana.

He has worked as a sports marketing intern in the Athletics Department and has refereed and coached at several middle schools. After graduation, Joiner plans to continue working in the sports industry.

For more information about the scholarships and the partnerships between UL Lafayette and the Saints and the Pelicans, visit the Office of Career Services website.

Photo caption: Ana Mata Gomez and Kobe Joiner are UL Lafayette seniors who received scholarships as a result of the University's academic partnerships with the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans. (Photo credit: Rachel Rafati / University of Louisiana at Lafayette)