Q&A with alumni board member Craig Friedman
Craig Friedman ’89 knows how to tell a story from any angle and the power that comes from being able to reinvent yourself.
After earning his degree in journalism, he embarked on a career of more than 20 years in that field before switching gears in 2012 to work with the media in a different way as vice president of regional media relations for PNC Financial Services Group. As a member of The Ohio State University Alumni Association Board of Directors, Friedman embraces giving back to ensure current Buckeyes have the skills and experience they need to thrive professionally.
“As an alum, I realized the importance of paying forward early on, filling in for a journalism instructor who took an extended leave in 1996 and helping my students enter the competitive field of TV news,” he says. “Most recently, I’ve served as a mentor to students in the Arts and Sciences’ Match Mentor Program. It doesn’t hurt living in the Columbus area, either, meeting with students and organizations whenever I can.”
- How did your Ohio State experience prepare you for your professional career and for your role as a volunteer/leader beyond the university?
I had amazing instructors who taught me the importance of developing skills, being creative and having a positive attitude. They told me to gain as much experience as I could, not to mention becoming the best writer I could be.
- What is your most memorable day as a Buckeye?
I was sitting in the Horseshoe during commencement on a rainy June day. As I left the stadium, I heard the Victory Bell, which has marked so many Buckeye victories. That day it felt like we all won! I’m still amazed by how thousands of us received our diplomas that day. How cool was that? My friends who attended other universities say that just doesn’t happen. Instead, their diplomas would be delivered to them in the mail. At Ohio State, amazing things happen every day.
- What one piece of advice would you give to students? To alumni?
Once you land that first job, always have a backup plan, even though it might take you out of your comfort zone. Now more than ever in these challenging times, being able to reinvent yourself is critical. Having a Plan B or even a Plan C could increase your skill set, and it’s so important to be versatile.
- What would you tell future students?
You can make Ohio State as big and, more importantly, as small as you want. Sure, you could be sitting in a freshman lecture at Hagerty Hall with a few hundred of your closest friends. But in your journey, the class sizes ultimately get smaller — and you’ll develop relationships with people who will be your lifelong friends and mentors.
- Why do you serve on the OSUAA board?
While serving on the Arts and Sciences Alumni Society Board, I realized the need to get our graduates more engaged. Many alums would come back for our annual Homecoming football tailgate, but we weren’t connecting with them as much as we should the rest of the year. We took steps to improve that, but we can still get better. When the opportunity came to join the alumni association board, I made increasing engagement my top priority — and that includes reaching out to our current students to educate them about what we offer beyond getting their diplomas.
Association board welcomes three
Ted Adams ’91 JD, ’92 MA
Co-founder and chair
Grant Street Partners LLC
New Albany, Ohio
Susan Bon ’92 JD, ’94 MA, ’96 PhD
Presidential faculty fellow
Faculty civility advocate
Professor, Department of Education Leadership and Policies
Affiliate professor, College of Law
University of South Carolina Columbia, South Carolina
Said Sariolghalam ’07, ’09 MPA, ’10 MHA
Providence St. Joseph Health Seattle, Washington
Call for nominations
Nominations for three candidates to join the board in fall 2021 will be accepted through Oct. 15. The nominating committee seeks experienced leaders, diversity in all respects, including professional background and achievements, board experience and strong connections with Ohio State and the alumni association. Active alumni association members are eligible for nomination.