Meet 20 from Radford's Class of '21
Radford University welcomed nearly 1,900 freshmen on Aug. 24 when move-in began bright and early Thursday morning.
The class of 2021 represents students from all over Virginia, including the Northern Virginia, Virginia Beach, Richmond and Southwest Virginia regions. Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia and Florida are also represented in the incoming class.
As the new freshmen were welcomed into the Highlander family, 20 members of the class of 2021 were asked about why they chose Radford and what they hope to accomplish at the university.
Hometown: Newport News, Virginia
“I came to Radford because it has a really good business program,” Pongon said.
With a major in accounting and finance, Pongon is opening doors after graduation in his desired field.
“I wanted to go to a school where I can learn a lot about business and this is the best business school. I’ve read a lot about the business school, and people from Radford always came to my high school to talk to us about all the programs they had. When I weighed the Radford business school against every other college, Radford was No. 1 for me.”
Hometown: Lovingston, Virginia
Bridgwater chose nursing because she wants to help people.
“I’ve always had a passion for it, and I’m currently a certified nursing assistant,” she said. “I wanted to come here because Radford University has a very good nursing program, and everyone seems to get good jobs after they graduate. That’s what made me want to choose the nursing program here.”
One of the biggest adjustments for Bridgwater will be being away from her furry friend.
“I’m going to miss my dog, Lady. I love my dog; I already miss her.”
Sam Hermes & Ben Satterfield
Hometowns: Kernersville, North Carolina & Haymarket, Virginia
Satterfield is studying secondary education with a focus on geology at Radford University.
Outside of the classroom, he wants to explore the area and the entire campus community.
“I’m sure there are opportunities that I’m not even aware of yet [at Radford],” Satterfield said.
Hermes was led to Radford University via his grandmother, who lives nearby. One of the aspects of Radford that immediately stood out to Hermes was the campus.
“It’s a pretty campus,” he said.
While on campus, Hermes is studying management while minoring in psychology.
Shaelyn McNiel & Claire Yelton
Hometowns: Glosser, Virginia & Yorktown, Virginia
Yelton and McNiel start their freshmen year with familiar faces: each other.
Yelton, a communication major, is looking forward to Radford’s rigorous academics and preparing for life after graduation.
“I’m looking forward to starting my new life and working toward starting my career after graduation,” she said.
McNiel, an elementary education major, is looking forward to meeting new people and exploring the Greek life options at Radford.
Hometown: Fort Chiswell, Virginia
Hart is channeling real-life experience into his major. Hart tore his ACL earlier in life – and he now is studying biology with a focus on pre-health.
Hart has a clear vision on what he wants to do after graduation.
“I want to get into the physical therapy graduate program here,” he said.
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
Harris will frequent Kyle Hall as a business major minoring in finance. She is looking forward to independence and becoming an adult.
“I’m going to work on social and communication skills while at Radford,” Harris said.
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Hubert will be taking advantage of the learning facilities inside the CHBS building as a criminal justice major.
At Radford, Hubert is “looking forward to making new relationships and being on my own” and to strike a balance between academics and extracurricular activities, as he is also looking forward to baseball.
Lily Gerloff & Lara Park
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
As a marketing major, Gerloff will frequent Kyle Hall, which houses the College of Business and Economics (COBE).
“I’m looking forward to new people and new experiences,” Gerloff said.
Park will start off her freshman year soaking in all that Radford University has to offer as she seeks to decide on a major.
“I want to focus on academics and work on my time management skills,” Park said.
Hometown: Centreville, Virginia
Dudley is looking forward to learning more about his major, information science. He aspires to make the Honor Roll in his time at Radford University.
He also wants to explore the surrounding area.
“I’m looking at getting involved in outdoor clubs while at Radford,” Dudley said.
Hometown: Fayetteville, Georgia
Battaglia made the decision to attend Radford University because of the strength of the business program and because of the campus.
“A lot of people in my family have gone into business and it seems like the right thing to do,” he said. “It is a solid foundation for my future.”
Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia
“I want to be a cop,” Knights said. As a criminal justice major at Radford University, Knights is one step closer to making that dream a reality.
“At Radford, I want to get an education that will help me in my major and later on in life. I came to the Criminal Justice open house and saw a few labs and the situation room and it all looks really cool. I’m excited about learning in those spaces,” Knights said.
Outside of the classroom, Knights hopes to get involved in clubs and athletics.
“I want to join the Skeet and Trap Club and, hopefully, play some hockey. I played hockey for 13 years, so I want to continue that if I can,” he said.
Bianca Anderson & Heather Valliere
Hometowns: Leesburg, Virginia & Ashburn, Virginia
Anderson, an elementary education major, is looking forward to her studies.
“I want to learn and take advantage of the academic opportunities available to me,” she said.
Outside of the classroom, Anderson wants to meet new people and experience new opportunities.
As a criminal justice major, Valliere will be utilizing the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS) building, which opened in 2016. Inside the CHBS building are advanced learning spaces, including a court room, forensic lab, emergency operations center and social media watch center – and many more.
“I’m going in open-minded about everything and I want to build skills as I go,” she said.
Valliere also wants to explore the surrounding area and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Hometown: Emporia, Virginia
As Mitchell unpacked the boxes in his dorm, he contemplated his major. While currently undecided, Mitchell is leaning toward political science.
“I want to become involved on campus. I hope to make the Dean’s List,” he said.
Hometown: Front Royal, Virginia
Deavers is going to hone his technical skills at Radford University by studying computer science. Outside of the classroom, Deavers is looking at the ample extracurricular activities offered by Radford University.
Hometown: Sterling, Virginia
In high school, a teacher told Hamilton that she’d be good at advertising. That comment stuck with her and ultimately helped choose her major – communication.
“After that comment, I realized advertising involved all the stuff that I like to do,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton enjoys Radford’s campus and size – it’s “not too busy, but not too quiet,” she said.
“When I walked on to the campus it felt like home,” Hamilton said.
Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia
While unsure of his major, Jones has a few goals in mind while at Radford University. He hopes to play lacrosse and to improve his communication skills.