AJ Cabbagestalk ’19 chose Shenandoah because he felt more comfortable at a smaller school where he would have the opportunity to have an enhanced, hands-on experience with professors and students.
“Shenandoah provides opportunities to get involved in many different things,” said Cabbagestalk. “During my time at SU, I loved the balance of friends and school. Shenandoah has an abundance of resources created for student success and that definitely helped me.”
Cabbagestalk’s fondest memories of Shenandoah were spending quality time with the people he cared the most about, which included his classmates Jordan Hunter ’18, ’20, Dominic Steward ’18, Seth Myers ’19, Malik Henry ’18 and Derek Riddick ’19.
During his time at Shenandoah, he also had the opportunity to act in the HBO American drama television series “The Deuce” and filmed a public service announcement for the University of Maryland. While on the set of “The Deuce,” he had the opportunity to speak a bit with series stars actor James Franco and actor/musician Method Man.
Cabbagestalk is the executive producer/reporter at WYMT-TV/WYMT3, a CBS-affiliated television station in Hazard, Kentucky. In this position, he writes and produces newscasts, while gathering accurate packages, videos and graphics to enhance each show. “I produce digital content for all locally focused stories holding the responsibility for all creative development and technical implementation for the station’s content,” said Cabbagestalk. When reporting, he covers live breaking news stories that stream on their website in between newscasts. After graduation, Cabbagestalk worked for Uffect Corporation in Front Royal, Virginia, as a film production specialist.
Now working in television, he remembers something Associate Professor of Media & Communication Kelley Crowley, Ph.D., said to him in her media writing class. She would constantly ask Cabbagestalk, “Why should I care about this?,” which was to ensure that whatever he was writing was interesting enough to catch the attention of readers. He finds that he asks himself this question in the workplace when tasked with writing projects. “Dr. Crowley’s voice plays in my head each day,” said Cabbagestalk.
Cabbagestalk found that many other skills he learned during his Shenandoah education have helped him be prepared for his career, including being able to see things from an ethical perspective, for which he attributes to his time with Professor of Mass Communications and Lin Rong San Chair Gina Daddario, Ph.D. and Assistant Professor of Media & Communication in Digital Media Production Glenn Osten Anderson, M.F.A, and his writing classes with Crowley. “They shaped my view of journalism, allowing me the opportunity to make mistakes and improve my storytelling ability,” said Cabbagestalk.
Cabbagestalk’s advice to students is: “Keep the faith, learn and educate yourself, this will give you the ability to grow in wisdom. Versatility is power. Be open to new things, don’t knock anything until you try it. Stay connected and network with those who hold positions within your future endeavors. Failure will make you stronger, every rejection will strengthen your approach to the next interview. You will gain an understanding of how to handle yourself in each interview that’s ahead. Mold your craft and be prepared to elaborate on your skills, your opportunity awaits you.”
Written by Harley Ryan ’16
Assistant Director of Donor & Alumni Relations