How's the weather? Ask Randolph-Macon College alumna Lauryn Ricketts '05.
Ricketts, who majored in environmental
studies, is a meteorologist at WTTG Fox 5 in Washington, D.C. At Randolph-Macon
College, her research, along with several
internships, helped spark in her a passion for meteorology.
"Under the guidance of Professor William Franz (physics),
I researched how wind patterns in the southern hemisphere over South America were
affecting the weather trends off the coast of England in the northern hemisphere,"
she says. "Professor Franz was always there for me – anytime I needed him. He is
a wonderful teacher."
Ricketts held three internships during her tenure at R-MC.
With the help of the late Professor Bruce Unger (political
science) and alumnus Louis Renjel '95, Ricketts secured an internship on
Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
"All the other interns were third-year law students," she says. "I gained valuable
experience, which I still talk about today. I saw Dick Cheney and Colin Powell speak
on the House floor—while I was sitting on the House floor, which was unheard
Her next internship was at WRIC-TV 8, where she worked with Chief Meteorologist
John Bernier. R-MC Environmental Studies Professor Chas. Gowan helped arrange the
internship, which started during J-term
and turned into a year-long experience.
"I still call John to ask for advice," she says. "And when I attended R-MC's Homecoming
recently I stopped by the station to say hello to him."
Her third internship, at Fox 5 in Washington, D.C., turned into a full-time job
when Ricketts was hired as a weather producer. After several years at Fox 5, Ricketts
spent nearly five years in Winchester, Virginia at an ABC station as their chief
on-air meteorologist. Things have now come full circle: She is back at Fox 5.
"My success started with the caring professors at Randolph-Macon College," says
Ricketts. "I would not be where I am today without R-MC. Where else could a student
fly up the Virginia-North Carolina coast to look at the effects of erosion? There
were six people in that class with Professor Michael Fenster (geology). You couldn't
do that at a big school. That experience alone made it all worthwhile."
Read more Alumni Success stories.