In the short time since she graduated from Radford University, Arielle Retting, ’12, has built an
impressive career in journalism as a writer and editor with such national media outlets as the Washington
Post, Wired magazine, and most recently, NPR.
“Arielle is an extremely talented and sharp member of NPR’s editorial staff and someone I am proud to
work with as a fellow Radford University graduate,” said Dave Mattingly ’86 in nominating Retting for
the prestigious 2021 College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS) Outstanding Alumni
The college presented the award to Retting Oct. 1, 2021, during a ceremony in Hemphill Hall. The award
was crafted by the CHBS Advisory Board to recognize Highlanders who are making a lasting impact on
the world. Mattingly, an NPR news anchor and winner of the 2019 CHBS Outstanding Alumni Award,
introduced Retting at the ceremony.
At NPR, Retting serves as editor of visual newscasts where her job is to incorporate photos and videos
that will accompany the network’s top-of-the-hour radio newscasts. Her work, along with that of her
colleagues, Mattingly said, has been recognized with two Webby Awards, which the International
Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences present annually. In addition, Retting is part of the NPR team that
has been nominated for a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award.
Further responsibilities for Retting at NPR include writing and editing online broadcast content with a
news producer, editing a daily newsletter, and alerting smart-speaker users to breaking news.
“Arielle is really a master at putting together good journalism, good work, creative content for headlines,
and really making sure that NPR puts its best foot forward and we’re the best that we can be,” said NPR
morning news anchor Korva Coleman. “I cannot imagine creating some of the content I do every day
without her as a full and complete partner. She is integral to everything we do.”
Retting, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in media studies – journalism, has actively pursued
further training and professional development, most recently becoming certified this year as a project
manager through Cornell University. She also has earned a Scrum master certification as a planner and
project supervisor within an office.
Before going to work for NPR, Retting built the foundation of her journalism career with experience at
The Roanoke Times, the Oklahoman, and the Virginian-Pilot. As a Radford student, Retting was one of
22 collegiate journalists selected worldwide to participate in a two-week fellowship on multimedia
At the ceremony, CHBS also recognized as the 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award winner, Karl Altau ’83,
and the CHBS Posthumous Alumni Award winner for 2020, Gale Waldron ’69.
Altau was a journalism major at Radford who now serves as the managing director of the Joint Baltic
American National Committee (JBANC), a lobbying group that promotes a close relationship between the
United States and the three Baltic States: Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Waldron was an English major who founded Loudoun ART magazine and chaired the Loudoun Arts
Council. Her husband, daughter, and family were present at the ceremony to receive the award in her