After growing up in Ashland for all of her life, Crystal Clarity ’00 made the move across Siskiyou Boulevard from Ashland High to SOU in 1996. It wasn’t just easy for her; it was also a great fit that made sense.
“I found a whole other side of Ashland on campus that I had no idea about when I was in high school,” said Crystal. Once on campus, she took mainly communications courses but later refined that to telecommunications because of an interest in broadcast journalism. With Rogue Valley Television located on campus, it was a great match for her. She found herself doing a weekly 30-minute-high school sports program working with Pete Belcastro and Joe Brett. “I didn’t know anything about sports so those two were a huge help in helping me to produce something fun and professional,” she said. She also enjoyed environmental politics courses taught by former Congressman Les Aucoin and found Russell Sadler to be an inspiring and positive political science teacher. “Even as freshmen, we had a lot of support and mentorship on campus,” she added.
Her sophomore year, Crystal was hired by KOBI-TV in Medford as an intern for one term. The internship turned into an Associate Producer position working night shifts where she met the Sports Director, Joel MacDougall, whom she would later marry. After earning her bachelor of science in telecommunications in 2000, she was hired full time by KOBI and produced the 5PM news every night.
The television market for the Rogue Valley is ranked 143rd in the country. When Crystal had the opportunity to move to the 13th ranked market in the country, she made the change to KCPQ FOX Channel 13 in Seattle, as the morning show producer. The hours there were demanding, 11:00PM to 9:00AM, but she stayed with it, becoming a senior producer then later, an executive producer for the evening news. “The demands in a big city news production are pretty stressful and the hours can get crazy but it sure was an opportunity for professional growth and expansion,” she said.
In 2006, Crystal moved out of television news and was hired by the Pacific Science Center in Seattle as a Marketing Manager. It’s a larger version of Portland’s OMSI and hosts over a million visitors annually, as a hands-on science center. Later, she was promoted to VP of Marketing and Communications where she was responsible for five departments and 26 employees. She stayed there for nine years until she was recruited by a local tech startup to develop mobile apps for museums as the VP of Marketing and Business Marketing. She stayed in that position until 2018.
Most recently, Crystal was hired by s2s Public Relations in Seattle as the Chief Operating Officer. She also serves on the advisory board for the Salvation Army of Seattle/King County. Early on in the pandemic of 2020, Crystal heard about SOU’s Head Football Coach Charlie Hall’s effort to get PPE to Asante health care facilities in the Rogue Valley. “My mother, Betty Camner, is still in Ashland and wasn’t working at the time because of the pandemic. I came up with the idea to make cotton masks. My mom loves to sew so it was a great and purposeful project for her,” she said.
“Southern Oregon University opened up a world of opportunities for me. The smaller class sizes, diversity of rich and fascinating courses, professors that truly cared and invested in my education and the welcoming, close-knit community helped me create the university experience that I was looking for. The foundation I built while at SOU put me on track for a rewarding and fulfilling career path.”
Learn more: s2s Public Relations and Communications