Communication Studies

COM Alumni Spotlight

Brian Rehder

Alumnus of the Month
Brian spends Saturdays lending his time to Wheels4Hope, a nonprofit organization
dedicated to helping low-income families and individuals get reliable, affordable vehicles.


Brian Rehder

Graduation Date: May 1994
Position Title: Lead Senior Trainer
Company: Novo Nordisk Pharmaceutical Industries
Current Location: Raleigh, NC
What was your favorite class in the COM Department? Why?

My favorite class was Communication in Popular Culture. It gave me a new perspective on how popular culture (nationally and globally) is influenced by mass media.

What organizations/groups were you involved in while you were a student?

I rowed on the crew team.

How are you using the skills/concepts, learned from your COM degree, in your life?

My daily work is focused on developing training programs for the highly-regulated pharmaceutical industry. It requires extreme attention to detail, detailed research and skill in managing interpersonal communication to achieve objectives. Much of those skills were fostered at UNCW during pursuit of the Communication Studies degree.

What are your proudest accomplishments since graduating from UNCW?

I joined the Communication Studies Alumni Association as a founding member, completed my MBA in 2008 at Strayer University and in 2010 my wife and I drove our own boat to the Bahamas.

Communication is...

Communication is something that can be opened but closes a mind,
it can be made and not understood,
it can be saved but not used,
it can be of no value to many and vital to one,
it can be perfect but not on time,
it can be taught but not understood,
it can be mastered but not by all,
Communication is key to relationships but it is never perfect,
It is your key to success if you understand how to work it.

What advice would you give current COM majors?

My advice is simple; build your list of experiences and exposures to difficult topics while still in school so that you are never in a position where you find yourself hopeless for a solution in your career and personal life.

Check out this article written on Brian and his efforts with Wheels4Hope: Wheels4Hope (pdf)