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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.


The path Michelle O’Connor ’91 took to her current role as CEO of a multimillion dollar company was not an easy one.

While attending Radford, O’Connor was influenced by two professors in the psychology department, both of whom remained active in their fields of study and were able to share real life experience. They also genuinely cared for their students.  O’Connor’s biggest take away from the university though was the confidence that she gained in herself and the desire to continue her education. 

“After I graduated, I went on to earn my Masters of Education degree in curriculum and instruction with a cognate in training and development at Virginia Tech,” says O’Connor. 

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“Sometimes I still have dreams of those great times at Radford University and the hard work I put in during my time there.  I remember it quite fondly and I will always have a place in my heart for RU,” says Robert Mancini ’83.

Mancini was a business administration major with a minor in mathematics and involved with the student government association (SGA). He said that the SGA helped him grow confidence and leadership skills.  “I got the chance to get involved in things and be more than just a student going to class.  I got to know the administration, to build relationships with them and to be treated as an equal,” says Mancini. 

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Samantha Hoey Nelson ’96 just released her book “Artist in B-School”, to inspire creative people be more savvy in business.

“It is part memoir and book of encouragement for creative people to understand business.  It tells of my past as a creative person and my journey to receiving my Bachelors of Fine Arts at Radford University.  I also reflect on my decision to get my MBA and the realization of the importance of those lessons to art students,” says Nelson. 

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Jamie Nolan ’06 is known for her strong work ethic, passion for renewable energy and positive outlook on life.  You might even describe her as a “ray of sunshine” that motivates those around her to stay positive and work hard.

Nolan provides strategic communication direction to the U.S. Department of Energy ’s SunSshot Initiative, which aims to enable large-scale adoption of solar energymake it faster, easier, and more affordable for Americans to choose solar energy to power their daily lives. She manages media relations, messaging, digital content, social media, and stakeholder engagement for SunShot’s roughly $1 billion portfolio of solar research and development projects throughout the United States.  

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June Jennings ’86 has served the Commonwealth of Virginia for almost three decades and was recently appointed State Inspector General.

She now oversees the states’ programs of performance reviews, inspections and investigations.  She also manages the state fraud, waste and abuse hotline, the whistle blower reward program, and provides guidance to the internal audit programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  “This has been the most challenging and rewarding position in my career in state service.  I stay here because I strongly feel we are making a difference,” says Jennings. 

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