Highlanders in the News: Week of Oct. 31

Every week, our Highlanders are using their education to do extraordinary things. Here, we’ll highlight some notable mentions from local, regional, national and international news media. Whether our students, alumni, faculty and staff are featured as subject matter experts in high-profile stories or simply helping make the world a better place, we’ll feature their stories.


STEAM power

Each year, young local students get a chance to sharpen their focus on potential future careers by taking a closer look at various fields.

The event is called Roanoke STEAM Day for its emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.

Open to those in kindergarten through 12th grade, it lets students visit and engage interactively with STEAM partners that include Radford University Carilion as well as the Clean Valley Council, the Science Museum of Western Virginia, the Taubman Museum of Art, Virginia Tech Roanoke Center and Virginia Western Community College.

This year’s event was held on Oct. 29, and coverage of it by WFXR News included comments by Glen Mayhew, D.H.Sc., interim associate provost for RUC.

Mayhew said RUC’s exhibits on STEAM Days expose students to interactivity and experience they don’t normally get.

“Being able to have the students come into a professional environment and see the actual tools that they would be using if they choose to go into one of these healthcare disciplines is so invaluable for them to be able to experience,” Mayhew said.

“Having them here, being able to have that opportunity to come in at their leisure and see what they can do in the different aspects of healthcare is so important,” he said.

Another Roanoke station, WSLS, also provided a story on the event, and Radford University's coverage of it appears here

The first Roanoke STEAM Day was held in 2016.


Highlander in the news

While it’s still just a bit too early to start placing room service orders, the front desk of Radford’s new Highlander hotel and conference center is as close as it’s yet been to taking reservations and handing out room keys.

Although an opening date has not yet been announced, university officials recently said construction on the 124-room, $40 million facility – which began in April 2021 – is slated to conclude sometime in January.

An Oct. 28 piece by Virginia Business provides a brief update on the hospitality center, located near the intersection of Tyler Avenue and Calhoun Street.

“We are excited about the opportunities to use the hotel for conferences, events on campus and… throughout the New River Valley,” John Cox, CEO of the Radford University Foundation, told the magazine. “That would include events such as homecoming, commencement and, of course, sporting events.

“We just think it’s going to draw a lot of people to the community,” Cox explained.

Tony Peterman, an executive vice president at JLL, one of the project’s partners, was also quoted extensively and offered an impressive prediction: “Not only is it going to be the nicest hotel in Radford, but the nicest hotel in the region.” 

Stephan Cassaday ’76

Power broker

After he graduated into the business world, Stephan Cassaday ’76 worked for a number of brokerage houses before, just a little over 15 years into his career, he set off as an independent to create his own enterprise.

That investment firm, Cassaday & Co., based out of McLean, Virginia, began in 1993 with about $40 million in assets under management.

Today, not quite two decades later, its staff of more than 80 employees supervises accounts with a collective worth of approximately $4.6 billion.

Cassaday & Co. has been ranked by Forbes magazine as one of America’s top registered investment advisor (RIA) firms and was named one of Virginia’s “Best-In-State Wealth Advisors.”

Last month, that same financial periodical also posed a series of questions to him.

In his responses, Cassaday offers his own investment philosophy, discusses his competitive edge, shares his most significant challenge and the hardest lesson he ever learned from a client and presents his rough financial outlook on the future.

Cassaday’s full interview appears here.

“We look for things that work,” Cassaday tells Forbes in the Q&A. “There is no system that works all the time — you have to accept that fact and choose the best options that are pretty good most of the time.”

Nov 4, 2022
Neil Harvey
(540) 831-5150