Alumni and Friends

WOUB taught Meteorologist Adrianna Michaels about the importance of serving the community

At eight years old, Adrianna Michaels knew she wanted to be the person on television telling you the weather.

“I developed this passion for weather,” said Michaels. “And it wasn’t just one of those little kid things. It stuck with me.”

Michaels, who majored in meteorology and minored in journalism, grew up near Cleveland and came to Athens for college because she learned that Ohio University had a strong program in both things she was interested in.

“During my freshman year, I joined the OHIO Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (Meteorology Club) and overheard some students talking who were also involved at WOUB," she added. 

She found out that meteorology students could be weather forecasters on WOUB’s nightly half-hour news program, NewsWatch.

“I knew WOUB was something I needed to do,” said Michaels. “Coming to Ohio University, I was excited to get involved with everything, and WOUB made so much sense knowing I wanted to be on TV. WOUB had such an impact on the career I had and continue to have.”

It wasn’t long before Michaels realized that her work at WOUB wasn’t just to prepare her for her future career.

“I have a relative who lives in Athens, and once I started doing the weather for WOUB, I would get texts from people in the area who were his friends. They would send me things like ‘Talking about it being cold while wearing a tank top dress doesn’t make sense,’” said Michaels with a laugh. “But what I realized was this wasn’t just a training opportunity for me. People were watching because it’s one of the few places they can get their local weather. There aren’t a lot of sources for local weather in the region. I realized people rely on WOUB and Ohio University’s Scalia Lab to get reliable weather information.”

After Michaels graduated in 2019, she landed her first job as a weekend meteorologist at a TV station in Lima, Ohio. It was a role she was only in for two weeks.

“The weekday morning meteorologist had moved on to another position,” said Michaels. “So, they asked me if I wanted to move to weekday mornings, and I was happy to do it.”

Michaels worked in Lima for about six months before she was offered a position as the morning meteorologist at WKEF in Dayton, Ohio.

“I loved it,” said Michaels. “It was great but after about three years I was ready to use my communication skills in a different way.”

In 2022, Michaels was hired as a digital media and marketing coordinator for the Dayton Public School District. Dayton is one of the largest districts in the state with more than 12,000 students. Michaels helps to manage the district’s social media channels and develop marketing materials. But she hasn’t given up meteorology completely.

“The district superintendent added me to the weather team to determine snow days. So, I give a forecast to the district during those times. I’ve also done presentations for city plow drivers and showed them how we forecast,” said Michaels. “And I do freelance work for WHIO TV in Dayton when they need someone to help with weather on the weekends.”

Michaels says she’s grateful for her time being a weather forecaster at WOUB.

“WOUB did a great job teaching newsroom basics. I had a really good grasp of how a newsroom worked,” said Michaels. “I knew how to pitch a story, how to get my story done quickly, and I was prepared for quick decisions. I also knew how to deal with the technical issues that sometimes happen on live TV. WOUB is a great tool for any student.”

Learn more about WOUB. 

May 7, 2024
Cheri Russo