Featured Alumni

Olivia Rhiannon Abbott, Class of 2015

Olivia Rhiannon Abbott, Class of 2015

By Amy Caudill

The typical day for Olivia Rhiannon Abbott consists of waking up at 6 a.m. and getting ready for work. She gets to Don Jacobs BMW Dealership at 7:30 a.m. and starts her shift as the front desk receptionist. At 4:30 p.m., she battles the city traffic of Lexington, Kentucky, on her way home. She cooks, cleans, feeds her and her husband’s three dogs and calls it a day. But while this is Abbott’s current job, she has a lot more going on behind the scenes.

Abbott graduated in 2015 with a degree in media studies and a concentration in production technology. Ever since she was a young girl, she enjoyed watching Disney movies and reciting the lines to her parents. Because of this, her mother began entering her into school and church plays.

“From then on, I was interested in acting and the art of film making,” Abbott said.

Having just graduated a little over a year ago, Abbott has an impressive list of acting and directing roles under her belt. Since graduating, she moved to Lexington, Kentucky to live with her husband and pursue her career. She has had two acting roles in indie films, one as an extra in “Ultio Vagabond Story” and one as the main character in “Leah Smock, the Legend Awakens.” She has also been assistant cinematographer for “Leah Smock,” production assistant for “Bitter Sweet,” and assistant director for “Crazy.” In college, she starred in and directed multiple short films.

“It’s easier than what we did in class,” Abbott said of her film roles. “In class, I had to play all the roles in filmmaking. I’m thankful because college taught me to challenge myself and to learn it all. School prepared me for those hard times.”

Aside from her film background, Abbott has worked on other projects. She is the media manager for Black Diamond Paranormal Society (BDPS), a paranormal group that she is also a member of. She also has her own YouTube channel that she frequently edits videos for.

Her YouTube channel has helped to fulfill her passion in acting. “Whether in front of a cast and crew or a single camera in my office, the passion is still there,” she said.

While she currently works full time with Don Jacobs BMW Dealership, Abbott still has acting and directing goals in mind for the future. “I’d like to be a part of the bigger filmmaking industry scene,” she said. She also wants to continue to expand her YouTube channel.

She said of being a Radford alumna, “It’s bittersweet. I have so many wonderful memories at Radford and actually miss going to class and seeing all my old friends.”

Abbott also said she is thankful for her time at Radford as it taught her to be confident in her own work and self-presentation. But there is one thing she doesn’t reminisce on, “I don’t miss having homework.”

Glenn Hall, Class of 2016

Glenn Hall, Class of 2016

By Colton Rhea McConnell

Glenn Hall, 22, of Falls Church, Virginia, who graduated in May 2016 with a degree in media studies with a concentration in production technology, has found a career opener at C-SPAN.

Hall works as a temporary video field technician for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network in Washington D.C. Hall first began working for C-SPAN in July 2016 and is scheduled to work until Nov. 11.

“I like working there,” said Hall. “It’s all unedited. It’s straight forward. There’s no cuts or commentary and the only time they have a news broadcaster or anchor is for their morning show, and most of that is getting opinion around the country.”

Click on this link to read more about Glenn: News & Events

Jeremy Jennings, Class of 2013

Jeremy Jennings, Class of 2013

By Kevon DuPree

Anytime professors have trouble with the technology in the new College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS) building, he’s usually the first person on the scene. He walks hastily into the classroom where his assistance is needed with a huge grin on his face, solves whatever technological issues may be present, and returns to his office, located on the first floor of the CHBS building.

This tech-savvy individual is Jeremy Jennings. Jennings was hired on Aug. 17 as a technology specialist, specifically for Radford University’s newest academic building.

To learn more about Jeremy follow this link: News & Events

Steven Kaminski, Class of 1995

Steve Kaminski

“My best years were as editor-in-chief of The Tartan … we had such a great time changing it and making it something we would become quite proud of,” Kaminski said.

By Emily Lewis

It was one of those long nights in the office. Steven Kaminski was just waking up from a nap on one of the old, beaten down sofas in The Tartan office. While rubbing his eyes, he was thinking about the talk he had earlier that day with his staff. Was it his own irritation or was his staff not committed to the paper they were producing?

“My best years were as editor-in-chief of The Tartan … we had such a great time changing it and making it something we would become quite proud of,” Kaminski said.

To read more about Steven follow this link: News & Events

Christiana Marjakangas, Class of 2014

Recent PR grad begins career with local job that benefits community

By Alex Pistole  (photo by Stephen Blake Jackson)

For some people, those first steps off the graduation stage are hesitantly taken. Of course it’s an exciting moment to wrap up your college career, but if your only prospects are to go back home or stay in Radford hunting for jobs, you may not feel ready for college to be over. This wasn’t the case for Christiana Marjakangas. When she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in public relations in May of 2014, she not only had a job lined up, she was already working in her field part time.

Thanks to her work with career services and PRSSA, and a lucky turn of events at one of the job fairs on campus, she had landed a part-time position with the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce a few weeks before the end of the school year. Only a week or two after graduation, Marjakangas was made the communication director of the Chamber, and had her first full-time job in the PR field.

To read more about Christiana follow this link: News & Events

Colony Brown, Class of 1991

photo of Colony Brown

“I never had a big plan for my career, nor did I have everything mapped out.  Each job has been a leap of faith.  Yet, there has been a common theme of building and growing organizations and taking some risks,” says Colony Brown ’91.

Brown is currently the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at ZERO—The End of Prostate Cancer.  “Our mission is in our name, we want to end prostate cancer.  We plan to achieve our mission through advancing research, encouraging action, providing education and supporting men and their families.

As a student at Radford University, Brown majored in communication.  “At that time, no one really knew what jobs were available with a communication degree.  I just knew I wanted it to be my major.  I’m a firm believer that strong communication skills are the key to achieving success both professionally and personally,” she says.

Read the rest of this article at the following site: Office of Alumni Relations

Bryan Moore, Class of 1988

Bryan Moore, '88

Bryan Moore, '88

Bryan Moore, a 1988 Radford University graduate who majored in media studies with a concentration in production, has lent his radio worthy voice to commercials and business phone recordings.

However, his real passion is for radio and television. While some students may struggle to decide where to go to make their dreams a reality, Moore said he knew right away that Radford University was right for him. Moore saw that the communication program was “more advanced and hands-on than most communication departments at other schools.” “RU gave me the chance to get a head start in the radio and television business by offering me opportunities at the campus radio and TV station,” he said. His work in special events has allowed him to meet some exciting people, such as former President George H.W. Bush, as well first lady Michelle Obama. “Radford helped me grow up. As a smaller school, it helped me develop relationships with friends and professors that allowed me to get the experience that has gotten me where I am today,” he said.

Justin Ward, Class of 2010

Justin Ward, '10

Justin Ward, '10

Justin Ward ('10) always knew he would be a reporter. His interest in journalism grew during his years at Christiansburg High School.

While at Radford University he majored in media studies and political science. He didn’t limit his work to just the classroom. He participated in the student-published paper, The Tartan and was an announcer on the school radio station, WVRU 88.9. During his college years, he took on many interning opportunities, giving up student breaks to get experience. While on a trip to Washington, D.C., Ward found a network that would allow him to do job shadowing for a few days instead of interning. Ward now reports for WDBJ Channel 7. His advice to students, “Never give up, that’s one thing I was often told...Set some goals for yourself and look out to accomplish them. It’s always one phone call away or one email away,” Ward says.