Alumna invites current students to join ‘Roadtrip Nation’

Cathleen Richards ’09 entered Oswego determined to be a TV broadcast director, but took “a few left turns and off ramps along the way.”

She did end up in television, but not in the way she expected. She is part of “Roadtrip Nation,” a social movement and PBS series intended to inspire late-teens and 20-somethings to get real about their dreams.

“We’re here to ask the hard question of: What are you passionate about in your life?” said Richards while visiting campus in September.

Under the tagline “Define your own road in life,” Richards and her fellow “roadies” visit college campuses across the country in a trademark green RV. The perpetual tour is intended to inspire college students to discover what they love and strive to make it a career.

A Johnson Hall resident mentor, Admissions Office tour guide and member of the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society executive board as a student, Richards — currently active with the Washington, D.C., alumni chapter — was happy to bring the message to her alma mater.

“I think it’s really important to engage students one-on-one and especially to use travel as a way of self exploration and career exploration,” she said. “We want to help them integrate that into their majors and into what they’re doing and keep their interests and their passions on the forefront.”

Student leaders who take internships on the RV each year find and interview potential mentors, from STEM professionals to higher-profile entertainers. It’s tradition for the interviewees to leave behind a signature on the wall or ceiling of the RV.

Richards and her crew also encourage students to take their own road trip to get in touch with their passions and the people who can help make those goals possible.

Leave a Reply