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Recent Alumna joins SOC Faculty
By Courtney Mendenhall
Kathleen Degnon, who attended Radford as an undergraduate and graduate student, is now one of the newest faculty members of the School of Communication.
Degnon received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations and minors in marketing and psychology in May 2014. She later completed her master’s degree in Corporate and Professional Communication in May 2016.
As a student, she was a part of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority. She did philanthropic work with the National Kidney Foundation and participated in events to promote colon cancer awareness. Also, Degnon helped raise awareness for victims of sexual harassment and assault by creating content to display around campus.
Degnon began her academic career as a business major, but switched to communication as a sophomore because she took interest in the material after taking a few classes.
“I just really loved the material. When I found out about the different career paths that you could pursue with a communication degree, I switched over,” she said. Degnon says how transferrable the material is to different skills is what made it very appealing to her.
She was an intern with Smith Micro Software, Inc., a company located in Watsonville, California, that develops and markets enterprise and consumer-level software and services. She served as the company’s social media and marketing blogger.
As a graduate student Degnon interned with New River Fitness and created the website and the featured content. She created the company’s first charity event, a bench press competition that will be implemented in the near future to give contributions to the Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread, a non-profit organization that provides meals at no cost for people in need.
She says that continuing her education at Radford was very beneficial to her, not only because it “mirrored” the small community of her Tidewater hometown, Smithfield, VaVirginia, but it helped her grow in many ways.
“When you go through the master’s program, you are challenged and you do grow through that. Looking back at all the things I did as an undergrad, I have grown so much since then. It helped me grow professionally and I have more knowledge all-around than I did before,” Degnon says.
One of her goals as a professor includes creating good relationships with her students. “I don’t want students to think I’m just standing there and lecturing, and they can just sit there. I want them to know that I do care. I want them to feel involved in learning.”
She says that it is important to be a leader and a “go-getter” in order to grow as a student while pursuing the communications field. She is encouraging students to make sure they can “show what they know.”
In her spare time “when things aren’t super crazy,” Degnon loves to put on music and paint using acrylics and watercolor. Also she loves to cook and spends time outdoors hiking in the Cascades.