Tracy Kunzler '84 is a writing whiz and a passionate RU alumna.
“I absolutely loved my time at Radford. It’s such a beautiful campus, and I found it to be just the right size. It’s large enough to meet folks from all over the state, the country and even the world while enjoying lots of ‘bigger school’ amenities. Yet, it’s also small enough that I didn’t get lost in the shuffle. My professors knew me, and I felt that my education and growth mattered to them. That gave me the confidence to take the steps needed to launch my career,” said Kunzler.
Immediately following graduation, Kunzler worked as the communications director for the Better Business Bureau of Greater Hampton Roads and later as public relations director for international game manufacturer Decipher Inc. Both are headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. These days, she is a freelance writer who has penned copy for a variety of local and national companies. She also just published her first book, "Aging with Ungirdled Passion" through Amazon.
According to Kunzler, it was a special opportunity afforded to her through Radford’s Journalism Department that helped her score her first job right after graduation. "While I was a senior at Radford, one of my professors worked with me to set up an internship with the public relations department of the Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters. The internship allowed me to acquire new skills, hands-on experience, and the connections needed to land that first job with the Better Business Bureau," says Kunzler. At the BBB, Kunzler conducted a weekly television spot on the local ABC affiliate station. "I was also responsible for speaking to various schools, civic groups, and the military; organizing special events; developing educational materials; and writing press releases, newsletters, and an annual consumer resource directory," she added.
Kunzler’s resume grew as the public relations director for game manufacturer Decipher Inc. "Responsibilities there included planning and implementing publicity events such as The World’s Largest Scavenger Hunt in New York City’s Central Park; serving as media contact and company spokesperson; and writing product, marketing and advertising copy. After working at Decipher and the BBB, I started my own public relations and marketing business," says Kunzler. Working out of her home, Kunzler would develop marketing and public relations programs and produce newsletters, sales kits, press releases, and brochures for many local and national companies.
Currently, Kunzler is a freelance writer for company websites. "One of my jobs is serving as the ‘Relaxation Specialist’ for SwimWays, a leading manufacturer of pool and outdoor recreational products. I write humorous columns with clever ways to incorporate the company's products into off-hours fun," says Kunzler. In April, Kunzler self published a book, “Aging with Ungirdled Passion” on Amazon. "It’s a collection of humor essays on the unexpected ‘gifts’ that come with aging - a light-hearted commiseration that’s cheaper than therapy and, hopefully, a lot more laughs," says Kunzler.
Kunzler is writing her second book about the ways in which men and women approach things differently in life. "My inspiration comes from real life experiences and the enjoyment that comes from laughing at them. In life, I believe you should have courage to change the things you can; wisdom to the know which things you can’t change; and a sense of humor to laugh at it all, " says Kunzler.
Kunzler encourages RU students to take advantage of special opportunities Radford has to offer such as doing internships. "My internship taught me so much – things you can’t learn in a classroom - and Radford made it all possible. I would never have been able to land that first job when I did without having that experience. It gave me the chance to put the skills I learned on campus to work in a professional setting. I got to ‘test drive’ my chosen profession, so to speak!”
Kunzler offers some final advice, “Don't let fear of failing keep you from trying something new. The magic usually occurs outside your comfort zone. Success really is just getting up one more time than you’ve fallen. And whatever you do, always look for the funny, because that makes all of life sweeter."