Alumni Spotlight: Rodney Humphries

Rodney Humphries in his Webster graduation cap and gown poses with his arms out in front of a green bush.Rodney Humphries proudly poses in his Webster graduation cap and gown on commencement day in 2019.

Over the past 109 years, more than 200,000 individuals have graduated from Webster University around the world. Join us as we highlight their Webster stories.  
Meet Rodney Humphries, who earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the Webster Groves campus in 2019 and currently works for United Way of Greater St. Louis
What enticed you to choose Webster University for your degree? 
Before I became a student at Webster, I had the opportunity to take a tour of the campus, and it was love at first sight. It’s a smaller campus, so it’s a little easier to navigate. I got to meet some of the staff and faculty during my first visit and they were all very warm and welcoming. I learned about the breadth of resources available to students in and out of the classroom. After that experience, and then immersing myself more into Webster University’s culture, I was all in. I knew I wanted to be a Gorlok. 
What stood out about your studies at Webster? 
The people and resources I had access to are what made Webster University special for me. As a student, I was interested and curious about various careers in communications such as journalism, public relations and marketing, and most of the professors had extensive career experiences in those fields. They were able to give me insight into what that world was like, and that was something that I valued and was very appreciative of. 
Another thing that was tremendously valuable for me was Webster’s Academic Resource Center, now called the Reeg Academic Resource Center. As students in higher education, we’re all talented and passionate about our respective majors, but sometimes we have academic areas where we need help. The Academic Resource Center provides academic counseling, assistive technology, a testing center, tutoring and much more. I was able to take advantage of some of those things and that helped me a lot with my college career. 
How did your Webster degree help advance you in your career? 
One of the things I cherish most about my time at Webster is the real-life experiences I was able to get. Writing is my passion; I love telling stories through writing. I was a staff writer for the Webster Journal newspaper and the Webster Ampersand magazine, and I got to interview and write about interesting people and topics that affected Webster University and the Webster community.  
My job now as a communications specialist at United Way of Greater St. Louis has many aspects to it, but one of the things I get to do in my role is pretty much the same as it was at Webster – telling powerful stories through writing.  
Every week, I encounter at least one project where I must refer to what I learned in my college years and that speaks to how valuable my Webster education was. 
What's your favorite part about your job? 
United Way of Greater St. Louis has been around for over 100 years, and our organization has touched so many lives and continues to have a transformative impact throughout the St. Louis region. I am proud to be a part of an organization like this. 
Through my writing, I can tell stories about people who have been positively impacted by our community efforts. When you donate to United Way, you are making a monumental difference in someone's life, and the feature stories I write give people a glimpse into how important our supporters' generosity is to the stability of our community. 

Humphries pictured with a "United Way of Greater St. Louis" sign.

Rodney Humphries pictured at his current place of employment: United Way of Greater St. Louis.
What advice would you give to others who are considering Webster University for their degree? 
Webster University is a special place where you’ll receive a quality education while also exposing yourself to diverse cultures, people and perspectives that’ll have a profound impact. Over 100 countries were represented in this past graduation ceremony and that just speaks to how special this University is, where people will come from all over the world to receive an education here. 
What was your very first job, and what do you remember most about it? 
My first job out of college was as a production assistant at KSDK-Channel 5 News. It was an entry-level position, but I still got to be in the same newsroom with some of the legendary newscasters I watched growing up like Mike Bush, Art Holiday, Kay Quinn, Rene Knott and others. My first couple of weeks working there and getting to be around them every day was so surreal! 
What is your favorite spot on your Webster campus? Favorite spot around the University? 
My favorite spot on campus is the University Center, specifically the Grant Gymnasium. I love basketball, and I always have a lot of fun watching our men's and women's basketball teams compete and win. Being in that small but mighty gym amongst other Webster fans cheering on our amazing teams really ignites my school spirit! 
Is there anything else you want to share with us? 
I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent at Webster University; I miss it. Any opportunity I have to come back and visit, whether it be to watch a sporting event, a show at the Conservatory or participate in an alumni event, I always welcome the opportunity to come back here and reflect on my college days. Webster University will always be home for me. I’m a Gorlok for life! 

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