Wow! I can’t believe I’m finally an alumna of Radford University. I remember my first day as a freshman like it was yesterday. I got my 8 a.m. Monday-Wednesday-Friday class confused with my 8 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday class. When the professor walked in and said, “Welcome to Religion 112,” I knew I was in the wrong room. After I made it to the correct class, Intro to Recreation, the professor was in the middle of saying how you should never be late to class. Oops! Epic failure on the first day—life couldn’t get better, I thought, but it did!
While at Radford I learned many things—how to be patient with group work, how to get to class on time, the price of coffee at 7-11 (with tax) and, last but not least, how lucky I was to have the professors I did throughout my college career. While many students don’t realize it, the professors are there for them. At graduation in May, I was the keynote speaker for the College of Education and Human Development. I will never forget the day I read the email saying I had been nominated. It felt like such a huge achievement. But I knew I wouldn’t have gotten it without my professors. I graduated from Radford with two degrees: recreation, parks and tourism, and communication. I am now lucky to have a full-time job with salary, and I know I got it because of the most dedicated professors I had.
One of the biggest things I learned at Radford was to always take that chance. You will never know unless you take it. During my second year, Dr. Teresa O’Bannon and Dr. Edward Udd were in the process of planning a study abroad program in France. I thought I would never be able to go. After some serious convincing of my parents, Dad especially, I spent my spring 2009 semester as the guinea pig of the new program in Vichy. Who would have ever thought this small-town girl from Riner would be exploring the big cities of Europe? But with the encouragement of my professors, I did it. During my semester in France, more and more opportunities came my way: first, meeting new people from different countries and establishing lifelong friendships with future travel destinations, and second, travel at my fingertips. While in France I was able to visit seven other countries: Egypt, Spain, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Turkey and Malta.
If you get anything out of my story, I hope it’s this: Don’t take your professors for granted. I’m lucky I got to know mine the way I did. Some professors may say we float their boats, but in reality they float ours. Where would I be today without them? I know I wouldn’t be where I am.
Jana Mosby ’11 is events manager at The River Company Restaurant and Brewery Inc. in Radford.