Highlanders in the News: Week of Oct. 13, 2023

Every other 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.

Major development

Grant Anders '18

Although he stopped playing baseball competitively after graduating from George Wythe High School in Wytheville, Virginia, in 2015, Grant Anders '18 has rarely strayed far from the game he loves. 

At Radford, he worked as the Highlanders' director of player development for nearly three years while earning his degree in economics. He also spent time as a minor-league video intern for the Kansas City Royals and an operations trainee for the Cincinnati Reds.

Anders later rose to the majors – working with the Baltimore Orioles and becoming the team's player development analyst in late 2021 – and a recent profile in the Bristol Herald Courier predicts his future could well shine as bright as Camden Yards’ stadium lights.

“I expect Grant to be a manager someday, with how he thinks about the game and how personable he is with players,” Jordan Childress, who previously worked in athletics communications at Radford, said in the story.

Anders’ duties largely involve analyzing information: “I spend half my time working on a computer with the data and the other half working with the players and coaches on the field,” he said.

“The best part of this job is experiencing Major League Baseball every single day,” Anders told the newspaper. “Being a part of wins in the big leagues is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”

You can read Anders’ profile in the Bristol Herald Courier here


Academy consideration

Courtney Ballantine '00 (Photo: ALXnow.com/James Cullum)

If you’ve seen 1992’s Academy Award Best Picture winner “The Silence of the Lambs,” you almost certainly recall the opening credits sequence, which depicts Jodie Foster’s determined FBI rookie Clarice Starling hoofing her way across the wooded obstacle course at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Northern Virginia.

One Highlander, Courtney Ballantine ’00, recently gained real-life experience with that long and challenging trail – he ran it himself.

Now a captain with the Alexandria (Virginia) Police Department, Ballantine spent last summer alongside 200 other law enforcement officers participating in the FBI National Academy, a 10-week program focused on leadership psychology, physical fitness and exercise, supervising at-risk employees and devising methods for community partnerships. This year marked the academy’s 287th session.

Ballantine, who applied for the coveted program a few years ago, talked about his experience in a Sept. 20 interview with Alexandria’s ALXnow.com.

He discussed the challenges of spending 2 1/2 months living in a dorm as an adult, a moment of inspiration he took from the experience, why he’s stayed in Alexandria for nearly a quarter-century now and what it was like to follow in Agent Starling’s famous fictional footsteps.

“I actually completed that obstacle course at the end of the 10 weeks,” Ballantine told the news organization. “It’s called the Yellow Brick Road, it’s a 6.3-mile course and the nine weeks of workouts leading up to that is the only reason I was able to successfully finish it.”

Read Ballantine’s interview here.  

Oct 13, 2023
Neil Harvey