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Meet the Staff

Greetings from the Radford University Conference Services staff. We would like to take this opportunity to share our excitement about the events occurring on campus now through the end of July, and introduce the Conference Services summer staff. We look forward to welcoming approximately 5,000 visitors to Radford University this summer. Feel free to contact us at (540) 831-5800 or e-mail Conference Services if you have any questions about these events. Please keep us in mind if you need assistance planning an event of any kind.

Back Row: Brenna Ishler, David Belton.  Middle Row: Billy Zakrzewski, Violet Nkwanzi, Daniel Bedsaul.  Front Row: Carly DuPont, Caci Higgins (left Conference Services), Kirnelius Williams, Jasmin Lawrence

Tanya Ridpath - Director


Tanya has worked at Radford University for the past 11 years in various capacities and has served as Director of Conference Services for eight of those years. Tanya enjoys the challenges of implementing events while working with local, regional and international populations. Tanya and her staff proudly represent Radford University by providing guests a pleasant and welcoming experience through top-notch customer service. Tanya received her Master of Science in Corporate and Professional Communication in the spring of 2006 at Radford University and is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design.

Burcu Bicak - Office Manager


Burcu received her undergraduate degree in Textile Engineering from Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, in 2003.  She is continuing her education as a graduate student at Radford University in the MBA program.  Burcu is currently working as the Conference Services Office Manager in conjunction with the administration, providing her with an opportunity to enhance and develop the important role of supporting the staff and visitors, thereby being instrumental in ensuring that Radford University also supports the community.  Her interests include reading, traveling, dancing and cycling. 

Daniel Bedsaul - Conference Services Staff Assistant Team Leader

Waleed Sarwari Staff Photo

Daniel finished his last semester at Radford University in May 2013, completing his Bachelor of Arts double major in History and Religious Studies.  A native of rural Grayson County, Daniel is an advocate for Appalachian awareness and religious tolerance.  In his free time, he can often be found navigating the New River in a kayak or reading beneath the shade of an old tree.  Daniel is also an avid runner, having competed in several races from 5K's to a half marathon last year.  Daniel is a second-year Conference Services Staff Assistant Team Leader. 

Carly DuPont - Conference Services Staff Assistant Team Leader

Nick Hagood Staff Photo

Carly received her degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism with a concentration in Tourism and Special Events from Radford University this May.  She was the Concert Director for Radford Student Programing and campus events for two years while attending RU.  This summer she adds FloydFest, a local music festival, to her resume.  This is Carly's second year as a Conference Services Staff Assistant and  she is serving as a Team Leader.  Her interests include traveling, going to shows/concerts and spending time at the beach. 

Kirnelius Williams - Conference Services Staff Assistant Team Leader


Kirnelius earned a B.S. in Journalism from Radford University in May 2013.  During his time at RU, he served as Editor-in-Chief of Beehive, Radford University's student-run year-in-review magazine, a Resident Assistant, an Orientation Assistant, President of the National Residence Hall Honorary and as an Assistant Resident Director, among other roles.  Kirnelius will return to RU in the fall as a graduate student pursuing an MBA in the College of Business and Economics.  He will also serve as a Resident Director in one of our 15 campus residence halls.  Kirnelius brings a year of experience to Conference Services and is also serving as a Team Leader this summer. 

David Belton - Conference Services Staff Assistant

Kathryn Jones Staff Photo

David graduated in May 2013 with a M.S. in School Counseling from Radford University.  David is passionate about counseling, education and children.  He earned his bachelor's degree in Psychology from Virginia Commonweath University in the spring of 2011.  During his time at Radford, David was a Resident Director in Peery Hall, which he found challenging yet rewarding.  Some of David's interests include traveling, music, thrifting and photography.  After serving Radford University as a Conference Services Staff Assistant, David will begin his career as a school counselor. 


Brenna Ishler- Conference Services Staff Assistant


Brenna is a rising senior from Frostburg, Md. studying Social Work at Radford University with a minor in Spanish.  She serves as the chair of the Appalachian Events Committee, a group dedicated to promoting Appalachian cultural awareness through campus wide events.  In her spare time she likes to garden, read, cook, hike, camp and attend an occasional environmental rally.  She has a cat and is looking forward to adopting her first dog in August.  She is excited to be working with Conference Services for the first time this summer. 

Jasmin Lawrence - Conference Services Staff Assistant


Jasmin is a rising senior at Radford University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Spanish.  Jasmin serves as a Resident Assistant, the Event Coordinator for Are U Hype, the Parliamentarian for the NPHC, and Vice President for the Deliverance Gospel Choir, as well as being a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.  She also serves in a work-study position for the Disability Resource Office.  After graduation, Jasmin plans to enter the Air Force. Her interests include reading, shopping and eating.

Violet Nkwanzi - Conference Services Staff Assistant


Violet is a second-year graduate student in Radford University’s School of Social Work.  In addition to her Conference Services Staff Assistant position, Violet works as a Resident Director.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work and administration from Uganda Christian University-Uganda in 2010 and thereafter moved to America to pursue further studies.  Before joining Radford University, Violet worked with the Roanoke City Department of Social Services as a social work intern and UrbanPromise International in New Jersey as a full time administrative volunteer.  Her areas of interest include social policy research and social services delivery.

Billy Zakrzewski - Conference Services Staff Assistant


Billy is a second-year graduate student at Radford University pursuing an M.S. in Criminal Justice.  Billy completed his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology with a minor in Interdisciplinary Forensic Studies at RU.  While pursuing his graduate degree, Billy served as a Resident Director in Muse Hall.  Additionally, Billy will be the graduate advisor for the National Residence Hall Honorary for the 2013-14 academic year, a faculty instructor teaching Introduction to Higher Education, and will be completing an internship with Roanoke Court and Community Corrections.  Billy’s interests include running, ultimate frisbee and disc golf, TV shows and video games.