Alumni Spotlight: Krystal Warren '00 Turns Blue Knight Experience into Career Success

“It’s not really a memory, as much as it is an experience.”

This is the way that Krystal Warren '00 reflects on her time at Urbana University. Krystal took her experiences at UU and parlayed them into a success full career that involves two things that she found passion for while a student at Urbana: athletics and higher education. She currently works at the University of Dayton as the Assistant Athletic Director of Media Relations. But, it is really the journey from a small town 30 minutes from Urbana that has defined her as a person.

“I grew up in a small town, Conover, Ohio. I went to Graham High School, where I was a three-sport athlete participating in soccer, basketball and softball. I was also a member of National Honor Society.”

Krystal’s athletic and academic abilities went to the next level when she decided to attend Urbana University. During her time as a student-athlete, the soccer program was in a period of transition. She actually played on the Men’s Soccer team until there was a Women’s Soccer team, which she eventually played on and served as co-captain in 2000. It was on the field where she met her husband, Jeremy, but it was in the classroom where Krystal utilized an internship to build the base for her career.

“I started my career with an internship on campus with Lisa Oda Fede in the public relations office, and also had an internship at the Urbana Daily Citizen (UDC). Upon graduation, I was brought on full-time at the UDC”.

After completing a stint with the Piqua Daily Call post-graduation, Krystal was given an opportunity to return to her alma mater as an employee. She became Urbana University’s Sports Information Director. Krystal was the first full-time Sports Information Director in the history of the institution. Krystal credits this experience as her introduction into the field of sports information and feels that it allowed her to land a position at the University of Cincinnati.

“It was a learning process, but I became accomplished in many aspects of the job and got a big break and was named Associate Director of Sports Information at the University of Cincinnati (UC).”

After spending one year at UC, Krystal returned to Urbana for a year before accepting a position at the University of Dayton (UD) in 2008. She has been at UD for five years and continues to grow professionally. She recently was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director of Media Relations and, while the field of sports information continues to change, Krystal prides herself in the fact that she has been able to adapt with the changes.

“The sports information profession is constantly evolving. Obviously, a big key is working hard, but you also have to adapt and embrace new technologies. For example, when I first started in media relations, nearly 10 years ago, we did not work with a lot with video and social media was non-existent. Now, a majority of our time is spent on shooting video, cutting video and producing quality highlights. Facebook and Twitter are key platforms to get exposure for our teams. If you don’t evolve you will become irrelevant in this field.”

Krystal credits many individuals at Urbana University for her ability to adapt to tough and changing standards.  She specifically remembers the impact from former athletic director Bill Blazer, Dr. Sylvia Bryant, Dr. Cheryl Fenno, Dr. David George, Lisa Oda Fede, and her mother Peggy Kessler, who has worked at Urbana since 1996. They had a profound impact on her professional skill sets. Krystal believes that current UU students should take advantage of all the opportunities that they can to give them real world experience.

“My education and experiences at Urbana University prepared me for my career, not only because of the quality professors and internship experiences, but because of the many opportunities. Not only was I a student-athlete, but I was able to participate with Student Activities and be a part of the performing arts, even getting a lead part in one of the school’s plays. Through obtaining a liberal arts degree from Urbana, I feel I got a comprehensive experience that spanned athletics, education, the arts and student government.”

When she isn’t trekking around the country following the University of Dayton’s various athletic teams, Krystal enjoys traveling with her husband, and the couple recently went to South Africa. She still stays physically active as well, and enjoys golfing and running, including half marathons. Krystal is also currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Administration at UD and hopes to one day get involved with politics and policy reform for social justice.

Krystal has a track record of taking her experiences and using them to grow herself as a person and a professional. This is something that Urbana University graduates, like Krystal, tend to do. Pulling from life lessons learned in the classroom, the athletic field of play, and the relationships built at 579 College Way, builds a resume that is ripe with relevant experiences. After all…

“It’s not really a memory, as much as it is an experience.”

 

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