Alumnus Kevin Thor

Kevin Thor ('16) earned his BA in Communication Studies and his BS/BA in Management. He won a coveted Fulbright fellowship, leading to a year in Vietnam, and is moving into global nonprofit/NGO work.

Following graduation, he worked at Southwest Airlines as the SWA University Coordination Intern organizing logistics for training and development.

"It was a dream experience at Southwest—including the free flights on the weekends!"

He then moved to Vietnam on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) fellowship. He taught English to 350+ English majors at a college, served as a Cultural Ambassador building U.S. Vietnam relations, worked with nonprofits, and learned Vietnamese.

Following his Fulbright, he spent two months traveling west around the world, learned about cultures in various development stages, and worked at a youth empowerment camp in Madagascar. At present, he is in transition to continue to work in a Global NGO/Nonprofit.

He chose to major in Communication Studies after serving as an Instructional Assistant in the Business and Professional Communication Course (COMM 286).

"The instructor, PhD student, Elizabeth Flood-Grady, became a close mentor and friend of mine and showed me how I could use the skills I'd learn in communication classes for my future goals of working with people and addressing global issues."

His degree has helped him with advocating for education and volunteer programs when working with nonprofits, negotiating large contracts for summits while at Southwest Airlines, and relating with people all around the world with cross-cultural understanding.

"My ability to advocate effectively while relating to others' points of view will be essential in my global work to come."

His favorite memory was working with Elizabeth and other graduate students/PhD candidates to get ideas on research, taking classes, and future plans.

"I took multiple classes with graduate students and really enjoyed getting to learn from those at the place I see myself in the next 5-10 years."

Kevin says alumni can help provide resources to students, from connections into various organizations and companies, financial support for study abroad and research scholarships, or simply coming back to speak and meet with students on what they've learned and experienced since leaving the university.

"My advice is to dig into the topics that intrigue you, meet with instructors with that expertise, and get coffee! As you go into your Capstone class, pursue those areas with your project. I interviewed global NGOs and nonprofits for my project and now work with them."

Kevin Thor