2022 CHBS Alumni Awards


The 2022 Alumni Award winner was unable to attend our Homecoming event in person but she shared what getting the award and what Radford meant to her.

"I wish to express both my heartfelt appreciation for this award and my regret that I am not able to be with you during Homecoming Weekend and receive this recognition in person.  I look forward to visiting the campus with my family in the coming months and this recognition means a lot to me.

As I reflect on this award and my Radford experiences, I am struck by three critical ways that Radford shaped my professional direction and, equally importantly, facilitated my success as a leader in the clandestine officer cadre at the Central Intelligence Agency and now as the founder of an Executive Leadership Training Company that teaches leadership principles around the world.  These key elements included the mentoring and modeling of professionalism by faculty members; teamwork and leadership lessons gained as a member of Radford Women’s Tennis Team; and an undergraduate culture that let me develop at my own speed and in my own way. 

Let me briefly touch on these three influences.  With respect to faculty members, I owe a debt to my Radford Faculty Adviser Dr. Nicholas Pappas.  As my faculty adviser, I still recall his comments to me extolling the value and critical importance of service – especially to the security of the United States.  His own career as a former military officer modeled that ethos – put simply he not only talked the talk, he had walked the walk.  My decision to apply to the CIA was influenced by his mentoring as well as support from other faculty members in the Political Science Department.  

To be successful as an intelligence officer requires an ability to work effectively in a team environment to collect important foreign intelligence to better inform US policymakers.  My experience as a member of the Women’s Tennis team, provided practical experiences that helped shape my ability to work collaboratively towards an important goal.  As the captain of the women’s team, I learned core leadership competencies that I later tapped into as Chief of Station (COS) and department leader inside the CIA.  I would be remiss in not recognizing Dr. Honduras who was my coach for the four years I played on the Radford team.  He pushed me to be a better leader.

Finally, I remain close friends with several of my Radford fellow students.  All of them have lived lives that improved their communities and several are teachers (in my mind the noblest profession).  I believe Radford gave all of us an opportunity to explore what mattered to us, fail on occasion, and still be welcomed back by an understanding, student-focused faculty.  I can’t imagine a better collegiate experience."

Karen Ruth deLacy

Class of ‘82