Brandy Campbell: BC Alumna Inspiring BC Students
Brandy Campbell returns to BC to inspire students to through her story at the High School Speech Competition and Media Appreciation Day.
March 23, 2011
Brandy Campbell sat at the Media Day luncheon as a Bluefield College student nearly 10 years ago and never dreamed she would one day be the event’s main attraction.
A 2002 graduate of Bluefield College, Campbell is a feature writer for Compassion International. She returns to campus April 29 as keynote speaker for Media Day, BC’s annual event for local media and communications students. While here, Campbell will also serve as keynote speaker for BC's second annual high school speech contest April 30.
Brandy Campbell, BC alumna and writer for Compassion International.
Campbell’s experience at Bluefield College, she said in a recent interview, helped her realize her passions for traveling and writing. BC may lack size, but it does not lack in the experience it can offer students.
In fact, BC's small size was a benefit.
“I didn’t get lost in the crowd,” she said.
Campbell credits this first-rate experience to her professors, who invested time into her and gave her the opportunity to learn through hands-on experience as editor of The Rampage, a member of the Student Union Board, and president of the Baptist Student Union.
Mark Hipes, who now recruits students for BC as director oftraditional enrollment management,was a student at Bluefield College at the same time as Campbell. He called her a “Bluefield College poster women” for her involvement and emerging success while a student at BC.
“Brandy is the embodiment of our mission,” Hipes said. “She is a scholarly young woman with a talent to write, and she answered her call, and is impacting this world for Christ. It is a high honor to know her and call her my friend.”
Campbell’s passions have developed from many of the hands-on experience opportunities she received. During her tenure at Bluefield College, her stint as a staff writer for Lifeway Christian Resources, and her time as a public relations staff writer at Hannibal-LaGrange College, she had the chance towork with many Christian music bands.
Hipes said that when Campbell served as the concert and coffeehouse chair on SUB, she was able to bring in some of the “best Christian artists” through connections gained in Nashville during a summerinternship with Lifeway.
Mimi Merritt, assistant professor of communications, was Campbell’s advisor and worked closely with her in producing The Rampage. She said she also remembers Campbell being very interested in the bands that came to Bluefield College to perform, interviewing them and writing wonderful feature stories about them. Merritt described Campbell as an excellent writer with a great sense of humor, but also as a very mature, self-motivated, self-reliant student.
After graduation, Campbell realized she would have to do jobs that were not her strengths. For Campbell, this meant mastering the art of writing a press release as well as her attitude toward her work. She said she had too much respect for herself and her employers not to work toward excellence.
Campbell eventually landed her dream job at Compassion International and has been working there for about five years. She does a little bit of every kind of writing there but her main work is writing feature stories about children and projects going on around the world. Compassion International works in 25 countries around the world, and Campbell travels to write stories that engage the reader in what is going on halfway around the world.
“My goal is to take stories to people in a way they feel like they were there, actually hearing it, smelling it, tasting it,” Campbell said.
She found her passion for traveling here at Bluefield College on the mission trips she was able to take as a student. Traveling is a big bonus that makes Compassion International Campbell’s dream job, taking her to Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Haiti, from which she recently returned.
“This is perfect timing!” said Campbell. “I want to share my story and be an encouragement to the students and media there.”
Campbell said she is honored to be invited back to Bluefield College as a keynote speaker. She is looking forward to coming back as a different person and being able to experience Bluefield College differently, this time with more gratitude. She said she is also looking forward to seeing her professors and friends again.
Merritt, Campbell’s former advisor, is also looking forward to seeing Campbell.
“It is thrilling for me as a teacher to see that she is not only successful in her career, but happy and satisfied and living a rich, full life,” said Merritt.