Roanoke Alumna Worked in the Pentagon
Megan Clark ’06 Used Experience Gained at Roanoke College in Nation’s Department of Defense
Rubbing shoulders with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was just another day at the office for Roanoke alumna Megan Clark '06. As a media outreach assistant at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Defense, Clark had ample opportunities to utilize the knowledge she gained as a student at Roanoke within the walls of the nation's Pentagon.
Some of Clark's responsibilities included the coordination with media and staff sections to set up radio interviews with high level officials, preparing the secretary of defense's radio transcripts for posting, updating government documents for procedural and grammatical accuracy and tracking media outreach team activities and accomplishments.
In addition, Clark was on a team of four individuals in charge of the set-up and organization of Pentagon Radio Day, held on Sept. 11 in the courtyard of the Pentagon. In 2007, they hosted 24 radio stations who interviewed participants that included 12 cabinet members, Pentagon officials, service members and other guests.
"Organizing the Pentagon Radio Day was one of the most rewarding experiences for me," Clark said. "I'm so grateful for getting the opportunity to meet the people that participated that day."
Clark was in charge of reviewing, editing and preparing briefing books for both the media and high level officials, resolving any scheduling conflicts that arose and assisting in ensuring and maintaining officials' schedules.
"Our team worked for months to make sure that everything was perfect," Clark said. "I was responsible for keeping track of over 321 interviews with 74 Pentagon officials and guests-I was setting up at the Pentagon at 3:30 a.m., but it was well worth it."
In addition to Clark's responsibilities, she also played an integral role in one of the department's premiere media outreach programs, Hero of the Week, a weekly radio program of 10 interviews with popular radio talk show hosts from across the country, including ABC Radio which includes 2,400 affiliates reaching an audience of about 12 million. This radio program highlights brave service members who have received awards for heroic service to their country in combat theaters of operation and highlights the amazing accomplishments of each individual. Each service member Clark worked with has left an impact on her.
"These men and women are so humble. They've received Silver stars, Navy Crosses and other prestigious awards, yet at the end of the day, they refuse to call themselves heroes and insist they were just doing their job," Clark said. "After hearing their interviews every week, I am just blown away by these stories. It always hits kind of close to home since my dad is a retired Marine and my boyfriend is in the Marines and getting ready to go to flight school."
While at Roanoke, Clark worked in the public relations office and was a tour guide for the admissions office. She was a committee chair for the Campus Activities Board and hosted many "open mic" nights and game shows. Habitat for Humanity was also a significant part of her college experience after spending three spring breaks traveling with Roanoke students and faculty members to build houses. Clark also was an active member of Mainstreet, the women's a capella group, and was the public relations director for that organization for two years. Clark was also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, and Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society.
"As an English major and communications concentration, my classes at Roanoke definitely helped me with my writing and editing skills, but it was also the experience that I had working in the public relations office and being so involved on campus that really gave me the extra push that I needed," Clark said.
Clark moved to Florida in 2007 to work as a communications coordinator at the University of West Florida. She also serves as editor of UWF's alumni publication, "Connection," editor and writer for UWF's employee newsletter, "Fountain," and producer of the television program, "Inside UWF." She coordinates news placement strategies to promote a public identity and image consistent with the university's mission, visions, goals and brands.