Alumni

When the puck dropped to restart the National Hockey League in August, Alison Sestina Lukan, ’96, a beat writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets for The Athletic, watched from an unfamiliar spot — outside the arena.

“The first day back [for training camp] felt really weird. Even the players and coaches said so,” Lukan said. “Everyone wore masks and had their temperatures checked, and after practice the media took turns at a microphone, asking questions through videoconferencing.”

Despite not being able to watch a game in person or conduct an interview off the record, Lukan supports the NHL’s restraint. “The league is putting an emphasis on health and safety. This isn’t just about the players, but about trainers and the people who clean the arena or cook the food. It’s been challenging, but it’s the right thing to do.”

Lukan is adept at changing on the fly. After graduating from the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, an academic experience she deemed “life-changing,” she spent more than a decade as a strategic planning and management consultant. But after experiencing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks while living in Washington, D.C., she decided to return to her hometown, Columbus, Ohio.

“I was blogging about hockey for fun and decided to apply for a job at Fox Sports Ohio,” she said. “I got it, and about five years ago, I decided to take the full plunge and leave consulting.” She now writes full time, hosts the Too Many Men hockey podcast, and champions women and minorities in sports.

“I think the absence of sports has allowed us to focus on other things — important things — like the Black Lives Matter protests or being healthy mentally and physically. Any one of us can educate ourselves about issues, make room for others, and amplify voices of those who don’t always get heard.”