Alumni National Awards


LadaJennifer N. Lada, Comm ’02 u
Mequon, Wis.

Bucks. Packers. Brewers. And of course, Marquette basketball. Here in Wisconsin and nationwide, sports frequently occupy the headlines. In an industry still dominated by men, Jen Lada’s voice — as a reporter and host for ESPN — has risen above the crowd as she shares stories of teams and athletes overcoming adversity and inspiring the audience. In 2020, Jen earned her first Sports Emmy Award for the E:60-produced feature “Hilinski’s Hope” about South Carolina quarterback Ryan Hilinski and how the devastating loss of his brother Tyler impacted his life. The feature has been widely praised for helping others who are battling mental illness.

Jen values the opportunity to be a storyteller, informing and educating while encouraging dialogue, understanding, and empathy. “A compelling, well-told story has the power to connect people,” she says. In this way, Jen exemplifies the Marquette mission — striving for excellence as a leader while serving others.

Jen also enjoys the opportunity to connect with local sports fans on her talk radio show on ESPN Milwaukee. She loves the chance to be funny and relaxed in a more casual setting than on-screen TV: “My goal has always been to take the job and the assignments seriously but not take myself too seriously,” she says.

Jen credits Dr. Michael Havice with supporting her career choice and helping her find opportunities to learn and grow in the broadcasting industry. She says, “At a time when there weren’t a lot of women in the sports broadcasting field, he often pointed me in the right direction and never made me second-guess my decision to pursue this profession.”

Fun Facts
Name someone (past or present) with whom you’d like to have dinner. I’d like to have dinner with my maternal grandparents, who both passed away when I was young. I’d like to ask them about their lives and the things they were proudest of, including raising their three children in their small town. My grandmother was head postmaster — a career that was unusual for women at the time. I’d love to hear some of her stories of navigating that space and see if there were any parallels to my experiences as a woman in a male-dominated field.

u Celebrating their Marquette Reunion

Leave a congratulatory message for Jen!