JWU North Miami Students Go Behind the Scenes at Super Bowl LIV

NMI JWU SEEM Volunteers at Super Bowl LIV

From catering to on-site support at the Hard Rock Stadium, JWU North Miami students gained real-time experience at Super Bowl LIV.

The Super Bowl takes an army of dedicated staffers and volunteers alike to pull off, and this year’s production was no exception. JWU student volunteers were exposed to a wide range of experiences as volunteers on Game Day and at related events.

JWU Caters Charity Golf Tournament
At the Super Bowl Host Committee Charity Golf Tournament, Chef Jeremy Houghton, Events Manager Pablo Mendez and their team of culinary students directed the catering services provided to golfers and participants. In addition, the North Miami Campus’ men’s golf team served as officiants to ensure that the rules of the game were properly observed during the game, which took place at the International Links Melreese Country Club in Miami. Gourmet bites served up by the team included:

  • Smoked peach Old Fashioneds
  • Pastrami bites with pickled red onions, horseradish and Russian dressing
  • Pan-seared scallops with rosemary buerre blanc
  • Grilled portolbello sliders with spicy tomato jam
  • Chocolate truffles

“It was a beautiful day on the course,” said Houghton. “Students interacted with golfers, NFL staff, and committee members to give them the ultimate Miami experience.”

Alumni Connection Leads to Super Bowl Eve Dinner
On Super Bowl Eve, JWU North Miami hosted Tammy Reid, wife of Kansas City Chiefs Coach Andy Reid — as well as 50 of her friends and family — for a private dinner led by Houghton, Mendez and a team of 22 students.

The event came together because of a JWU alumni connection, explains Houghton: “I was contacted by Shannon Frankel Chung '12, who is married to an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. She is good friends with Tammy Reid, who was looking for a place to have an intimate dinner the night before the Super Bowl. Given that the Miami restaurant scene is already one of the hottest tickets in the US, options for a private dinner for 50 with two weeks’ notice was nearly impossible. Mrs. Reid reached out to us and the event was off and running!”

The 7-course meal was capped off with a Chiefs Axe Chop chant, a chocolate football filled with 54 chocolate truffles, and to-go boxes of truffles for the guests.

It was a night the students who helped out will remember forever, said Houghton: “Mrs. Reid spent time with each student to have a photo with her to remember their evening. She was one of the most humble and gracious celebrities the university has ever had the pleasure of cooking for!”

“Mrs. Reid spent time with each student — she’s one of the most humble and gracious celebrities the university has ever had the pleasure of cooking for!”

JWU SEEM Volunteers at SuperBowl LIV

JWU Volunteers on Game Day
At the same time, Assistant Professor Craig Skilling and 36 Sports, Entertainment, Event — Management (SEEM) students were working at Super Bowl-related activities.

All weekend, student volunteers took part in interactive events designed to stoke excitement for the Big Game, including the Super Bowl Experience at the Miami Beach Convention Center and the celebrity-filled fan-fest known as Super Bowl LIVE at Bayfront Park.

Students worked as activity leads in multiple capacities at the Experience, from helping fans maneuver the obstacle course to manning stations with Super Bowl rings and other memorabilia. They also helped assist at the various celebrity appearances. “This event was all about the community,” noted Skilling. “Good food, team spirit, etc.”

On Game Day, Skilling, instructor Phillip Calloway, and 22 JWU SEEM students went through an extensive background check and credentialing process before entering the stadium. Calloway and Skilling served as designated group leaders for the JWU volunteers, as well as additional staff scheduled to work in their zone.

“As zone managers our group was responsible for enhancing the fan experience. We supported the SAFE management security staff by monitoring guest interaction and reporting anything in the area that might make a fan experience less enjoyable,” noted Skilling. “Students were placed throughout the venue; they were allowed to take breaks and walk around the stadium, where they were each able to have an amazing overall experience.”

When the time came for the Chiefs to celebrate their victory during the post-game show, the JWU crew could be seen in the background, cheering them on.

“This was my fifth Super Bowl experience — but it was a first for my students,” said Skilling. After the game, he asked one of the SEEM volunteers to sum up the day. She didn’t hesitate: “Ten out of ten!”

Emmanuel Cabrera Muñoz, Craig Skilling and Jeremy Houghton contributed to this story.

In front of the Hard Rock Stadium Entrance

Craig Skilling with JWU SEEM Volunteers

NMI Super Bowl Host Committee Charity Golf Tournament

NMI Reid Dinner Super Bowl LIV

Kansas City Chiefs-themed Centerpiece