By Carole Sheridan
NKU Marketing + Communications intern
Krista Rayford wears many hats.
She is the Communications and Events Manager for the College of Informatics at NKU. She is a wife and a mother of two little girls. And she serves in the Army Reserves as a public affairs specialist.
“Serving this great country is an honor,” said Krista. “The military has always been a part of my life and will always be a part of who I am.”
Krista graduated from NKU in 2006 with a degree in public relations and joined the military in 2007. Her father served 37 years and her brother has served 20. Serving in the military was in her blood.
“My dad and brother were hard acts to follow, but I knew it was something that I had to do,” said Krista. “And it has been a great ride.”
She earned her title as a public affairs specialist during her eight years of active duty spent around the world in places such as South Carolina, Maryland, North Carolina, Alaska and Iraq. Krista was deployed to Iraq in 2010 in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn. During her yearlong deployment, she worked as a media embed non-commissioned officer in charge and was the liaison between all units across Iraq and the media. In that role, Krista was able to serve her country and put her degree to good use.
“I truly believe that my success as a public affairs soldier is credited to the knowledge acquired from NKU and the Department of Communication,” said Krista. “I’m forever grateful.”
When she wasn’t on a mission in Iraq, she worked on various different projects. One of those was a social media campaign called Boots in the Sand. Its goal was to get 10,000 likes on Facebook for the 10,000 servicemembers currently deployed. The goal was reached through featuring stories about service members who were deployed and ultimately shared with their hometown media. It was a way for people to not only put faces to the deployed service members but to increase awareness.
When not deployed, she lived in North Carolina until 2014 when she decided to move back to the northern Kentucky area with her husband Jeff and daughter Abigail. She had her second daughter Sophia here. Krista knew she wanted to continue in the public relations field and thought it would be great to go back where her affinity of the field began, NKU.
Now Krista spends many hours in Griffin Hall as the College of Informatics Communications and Events Manager.
“Krista does a little of everything here in the college,” said College of Informatics marketing manager Tom Ramstetter. “Whether it’s an event in the building, helping coordinate a public relations effort, maintainingthe website or simply being a helpful contact to faculty and staff across campus, Krista does it all and does it well.”
She now holds the position of non-commissioned officer in charge for the print section, in the U.S. Army Reserve, 367th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment in Columbus, Ohio. She is able to use her degree in the military and she has acquired a wealth of knowledge in public affairs, event management, and media relations. She is now able to help mentor and guide new Soldiers that are joining her current unit.
“My life is full of blessings,” said Krista. “I get to do what I love every day, whether it’s serving my country or working at the best university in Kentucky.”