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Alumni Spotlight

Learn more about Radford University alumni - where they are now, what they are accomplishing, and why their connection to Radford University is important to them.


Brenda Lilly ’91 was an English and French literature major at Radford University who found a passion in the beauty industry.

 “I moved to the New York area in 1996 and started my career in the industry.  I have worked for Revlon, Clinique, L’Oreal-Maybelline, The Estee Lauder Companies and now for the prestigious Fresh Incorporated,” says Lilly.

As a student and new graduate, Lilly was interested in theater.  ”Right out of college, I received an internship with the Washington Performance Art Society.  It was great because I realized I had a lot more interest in business.   

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Samantha Steidle ‘04, owner of The CoLab, always knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur.

“When I arrived at Radford in 2001, I started my first company as an event planner. I planned weddings and corporate events and would often drive to Roanoke to meet with wedding vendors such as florists, bakers and photographers.  I knew I was young, but I wanted the experience of opening and running my own company.  When meeting with vendors or clients, I had to meet with them in coffee shops.  This is where the seed for the Business Lounge was planted,” says Samantha Steidle.

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“The connections that I made through Radford University have impacted my life tremendously.  It kick-started my career and gave me lifelong friends. I appreciate my alma mater,” says Jay Rupert ’95.

Rupert has worked in the Press Galleries on Capitol Hill for more than 15 years.  “I started off as Assistant Director in the Senate Press Photographers Gallery and stayed there for three years.  I then moved to the House Radio/TV Gallery as the Third Assistant for seven years,” says Rupert.  Currently, Rupert serves as the Deputy Director at the House Periodical Press Gallery. 

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“As a student I worked in the Radford University Office of University Relations, and spent most of my time with designers in that office’s Creative Services area.  I mostly designed posters, brochures, newsletters and postcards.  After I graduated, the office hired me as a graphic designer,” says Trina Lambert ‘00.

Currently, Lambert works as the graphic designer at Red Orange Design.  “Red Orange Design has a wonderful clientele base that is growing and striving to grow more and more.  This industry continues to change and evolve every day, so it requires you to stay on your toes and really be a life-long learner,” says Lambert.

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 “I was encouraged by my professor Dr. Ray Penn to get an internship.  He said it would help me figure out my future path.  Today, I am the broadcasting director for performance racing network (PRN).  Without his advice, I would never be here,” says Alicia Lingerfeldt ’90.

As a student at Radford University, Lingerfeldt majored in speech communication and was involved in the Sigma Kappa sorority.  “At Radford, I matured in more ways than I knew I could.  The university gives you more than just an education.  It gives you freedom, responsibility, guidance and many life lessons,” says Lingerfeldt.

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