There is more to John Fox than Mac Computers

John Fox, Alumni profile

By Aubrey Woodward

John Fox’s name at Radford University is synonymous with Mac computers. He currently works in Walker Hall as a Mac technician and handles a variety of issues pertaining to Mac computers, as well as some of the new resources on the Radford University campus.

“Any Mac that comes on campus I touch, I image it, I put software on it. My main responsibility is taking care of the computer labs like 1005 in the CHBS Building. I’m building machines … updating machines,” Fox said.

Fox also works with faculty who receive Mac computers from the university and is in charge of distributing the computers to them. “I teach a class and talk to the faculty who receive the machines, I troubleshoot, anything Mac related I pretty much have a hand in.”

However, Fox didn’t start his career as a Mac technician. He attended Radford back when it was simply Radford College. He then did an internship at Kollmorgen. It was there where he was encouraged to get his official degree in Speech. The communications program didn’t exist yet. At the time it was known as Speech. He changed his major in his last semester and took all his required courses within that time.

“I got a degree in speech and I worked in video production in the analog world for 14 years. I did everything from working in front of the camera as well as behind the camera, running the camera, technical director, producing, directing, I even did maintenance where I tore down the post-production studio, rearranged everything, hooked it back up,” Fox said.

Along the way, Fox went to New York to the World Trade Center for a multi-camera shoot overlooking the Statue of Liberty for Kollmorgen. He also worked at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant creating training videos.

Fox’s talents however do not end at being a Mac technician and being knowledgeable about the field of video production. He is also an avid caver, a talent he has shared with Radford students and faculty through class excursions. Fox is also a DJ and has deejayed at official university functions.

Perhaps most remarkable of Fox’s talents is that he has run a radio show entitled ‘See You At Nine’, which coincidentally runs from 9 p.m. for two hours on WVRU 89.9 FM for over thirty years now.

Fox, who is passionate about his radio show says, “For 36 years, two hours once a week, I played music at the radio station. And I own all the music. It got to the point that when I got duplicates of CDs I would donate the music to the station and that’s how they got their rock music prior to 1978.”

Fox believes that his speech degree has helped him in many of the other areas he works in and gave him the experience and confidence needed to excel in those work places. “The one class that I really got a lot out of and I really didn’t think much of it at the time was Public Speaking. It’s a class I think every college student should take, no matter what discipline you’re in and what you plan on doing later.”

His reasoning is that the Public Speaking class teaches you how to present a topic to listeners, no matter who they may be. He was even chosen to train workers on how to use a respirator or operate a cherry picker when he worked at the arsenal because he was such a good public speaker.

“You can use that anywhere, I used it when I was writing scripts, I use it when I’m presenting information in a class, I use it when I’m teaching faculty how to use computers, I use it when I’m presenting other information to adults and even students, it doesn’t matter,” Fox said.

Fox has some advice to offer to students working in the same field as him. “If you’re in the broadcasting world, if you’re in the production part, I would strongly recommend people go into the corporate world if you can find your niche. It’s a little bit hard to get into but it’s a little bit more secure. It may not be the challenge and the rush of shooting video in a war zone but you can go places, you can do things and you still get to go home at night.”

Dec 2, 2016
School of Communication