Power of Three
By Bailey Black
The Lane triplets brought their own support system to campus.
It is not often that three siblings attend Radford University together, much less triplets. Yet Emily Lane ’21, Samantha Lane ’21 and Adam Lane, a senior, did just that.
Radford University was an easy selection for the siblings who grew up in the New River Valley. Not only were they impressed by the programs Radford University offered in the majors they wanted to pursue, but they were also happy to find that receiving a great education locally was affordable. Scholarships made the difference.
Emily, a criminal justice major with a minor in psychology, was particularly impressed by the resources, facilities and experiences the criminal justice program has available for students. Her favorite part of attending Radford was exploring the opportunities the program offered.
“They’re opportunities you really can’t get anywhere else,” said Emily.
As she looks back on the past four years, she also speaks highly of the faculty members in the program. She appreciated how accessible they were to students and that they were always available to answer questions. Professor Stephen Owen, Ph.D., and Instructor Benjamin Wright were especially impactful, as they made their classes interactive and were diligent in making sure their students understood the material, she said.
Adam, a cybersecurity major, has also been positively impacted by his professors at Radford University. After graduation, Adam plans to continue his education by pursuing a master’s degree in cybersecurity, with the goal of becoming a professor himself. His favorite instructor, Brenda Hastings, was a key factor in solidifying his long-term career path.
“She was amazing. She went out of her way all the time to help me. I could email her at any time of the day and get a response just like that, with full detail. It was a lot of what I hope to be as a professor, as far as work ethic goes and the connection she has with students,” said Adam. “I hold her in very high regards. She’s the best professor I’ve ever had.”
Samantha, a music business major with an entrepreneurship/management minor, had the same warm experience with faculty on campus. Assistant Professor David Rivers has been instrumental in helping Samantha get various scholarships and internship opportunities.
“He’s even helping me apply for jobs and sending referrals to recommend me for positions,” said Samantha. “Our professors help us through whatever we need.”
Rivers also assisted Samantha in her role as the president of the Music Business Student Association, in which she helped put on shows like Bonnieroo and Radford Idol. Samantha was also in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars; Mu Phi Epsilon, the international music fraternity; and the Radio Broadcasting Club for WVRU. She interned at FloydFest, where she helped with production and security; served as a radio host; and interned at Bridge Kaldro Music in Christiansburg. Additionally, Samantha was also the recipient of the President’s Innovation Award in 2020, representing Radford University at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show in California, and she received Radford University Foundation scholarships — the Shing/Mah Scholarship for Visual and Performing Arts and the C.E. Richardson Benevolent Foundation Scholarship.
While Adam has worked at Virginia Tech at the help desk and in IT support for the past year, Samantha and Emily were involved in a work-study program in Radford’s Office of Advancement where they assisted with updating records, preparation for solicitations, special events and stewardship activities.
The Lane triplets have no shortage of accomplishments at Radford University, but what stands out to them in a greater capacity is how they were able to support each other throughout their undergraduate journey.
“When we started, it was like, ‘Well, we already know someone on campus!’ We were never alone,” said Samantha.
They were able to refer each other to peers and faculty in departments across campus that they may not have interacted with otherwise. Another lesson Adam, Emily and Samantha have taken away from their Radford experience is that connections are key; they have found that it is the people you meet that make the biggest impact.
“I’ve made a lot of friends on my degree path, and I actually got my current job from a friend I made at Radford because he worked there and recommended me to replace him,” said Adam. “Samantha’s professors have been referring her to jobs, too. If you make good connections with people here on campus, they may help you out later down the road, and it could help you progress in your career.”
With graduation behind her, Emily plans to stay in the area and enter the field of law enforcement. She feels like it is a great way for her to give back to her local community. Her biggest takeaway from her time at Radford is to not be afraid to ask for help.
“Everybody needs help once in a while — we’re all humans, and we’re not perfect,” said Emily. “I feel like in today’s culture, people are afraid to answer questions because they’re afraid to be wrong. Don’t be afraid to ask or answer questions. Everyone makes mistakes; we can learn from them.”
Samantha agreed that mistakes are learning experiences. The biggest lesson she has learned is to embrace failure.
“When you start out, you’re most likely going to fail at least once, but it’s what you learn from that experience that matters. Think, ‘What could I do differently to make myself stand out next time?’ If you get feedback, listen to it and don’t give up; work on it, and then try again,”
The Lane triplets embodied hard work and resiliency during their time together at Radford University and look forward to applying the skills they have acquired to their post-graduation careers. They feel confident that their Highlander connections will last a lifetime.