Alumnus in "Jeopardy!"
When first-year Lycoming College students process through the David B. Sykes gates during New Student Convocation, a few of them may have aspirations of one day taking a similar trek down the red carpet surrounded by paparazzi and flashing camera lights. One Lycoming alumnus recently did just that.
At the 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, Phil Zimmerman ’02 navigated through the crowds and helped manage media interviews for Alex Trebek in his new position as senior publicist for the game show “Jeopardy!”
“It felt a little surreal,” says Zimmerman. “I’ve always been a huge fan of the show. I grew up watching Alex Trebek and suddenly I’m walking the red carpet with him among other celebrities. We were on the red carpet for about an hour, but it felt more like five minutes.”
Zimmerman, who majored in communications with a marketing minor, oversees the national publicity strategy for “Jeopardy!” and also serves as a media contact for the show.
Most recently, Zimmerman lived in San Francisco and was the communications manager at the Independent Television Service, producer of the PBS series “Independent Lens.” He is also a freelance travel writer with several published stories in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Lonely Planet Magazine.
While at Lycoming, Zimmerman was class president, editor-in-chief of The Lycourier, a tutor and a member of the swim team. He also was involved with Habitat for Humanity, Kappa Delta Rho fraternity and Phi Kappa Phi honor society. He concluded his Lycoming career as the recipient of the Chieftain Award, the highest honor given to a graduating senior. Zimmerman was Lycoming’s first Fulbright Scholar and went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Waikato in New Zealand.
“I learned many lessons from my involvement in campus activities; however the two most valuable were the importance of prioritizing work and team-building,” says Zimmerman. “To be an effective leader, I couldn’t do it all on my own. I needed the support of other students and faculty.”