A Podcast For Captain’s

A podcast to teach prospective students all there is to know


The Office of Communications and Public Relations (OCPR) is always working to find new ways to connect with prospective students. CNU On The Lawn is a podcast hosted by three students where they discuss all there is to know about being a student at Christopher Newport University. 

Seniors Abbey Balance, Sarah Roller, and Michelle Valich are interns in the OCPR and each week sit down together to film the podcast. The 10-15 minute episodes are spent with the girls sharing their experiences from their time at CNU.

Interim Chief Communications Officer Bruce Bronstein said, “When we brought the interns together and talked about the responsibilities of the department, we looked for opportunities to align the department’s goals with those of the interns.” The podcast then came as a result from this brainstorming session. “I’m thrilled and incredibly proud of the work the team has put into the program.”

Through the weekly podcast, prospective students and families can learn in detail all there is to being a student at CNU. At the time of print there are currently eight episodes out, each covering a different aspect of student life. 

Valich said, “The podcast is really fun and I hope that once we graduate the podcast can continue to grow and flourish over the years!”

CNU on The Lawn gives me a strong connection to my school. I feel like I have meaning in the work I am doing and it is so easy for me to just sit and talk about what life is like here at CNU,” Roller said. 

Balance said, “It is so interesting to me to hear more about what CNU has been like for Sarah and Michelle, because we have all had drastically different experiences.” Although they have all been on the same campus and doing a lot of the same things, their experiences at CNU have been vastly different. “I think that is in part one of the fascinating things about CNU on the Lawn, because we put all of those differences on the table and openly discuss them.”

Listeners don’t have to worry about the podcast being censored by the university because Balance, Roller, and Valich make sure to give their authentic and true experiences. “This is exemplified in our episode about dining halls and I talked about how I hate them,” Valich said. “We have the freedom to share our own experiences and stories, so I want the audience to know that we are being real.” 

Roller said, “We are completely honest with everything we talk about because we want our audience to know the reality of student life here at Christopher Newport.”

Bronstein is fully supportive of the creative freedom given to Balance, Roller, and Valich. Let’s be clear, I legitimately love this place – CNU is more than a job to me – but I know it’s not perfect, and I know CNU is not for everyone. But, if you are a prospective student, and you listen to the podcast, you’ll be entertained AND get a good idea of what it’s really like to be a student here,” he said. 

Balance said, “CNU on the Lawn wants to give voice to the highs and lows, good and bad, and pretty and ugly of CNU and college, as a whole.”

Bronstein also said, “I love the podcast and am a huge fan of Michelle, Sarah, and Abbey.” Bronstein looks forward to their meetings collaborating on new ideas. Truly it’s less of a collaboration, and more just sit back and watch ’em go. I love their passion and excitement.”

The podcast has already sparked attention, not just from prospective families, but current students as well. In Episode 8 titled “Daily Life & Time Management,” they mention that some of their fellow Captains recognize them from the podcast. 

Roller said, “It gives me a sense of importance when we are being advertised on the school’s social media and my peers and professors will see it and reference it in conversation.”

 “I hope that our podcast shows future students that college looks different for everyone and that is A-OK,” Balance said. 

Everyone involved is excited to see where this podcast will go and believes it is a new great way to reach out to prospective students. 

Bronstein concludes with, “We need to create, distribute and promote our own media highlighting our incredible students and faculty if we want to remain competitive and relevant to our prospective students, prospective faculty, alumni and the Hampton Roads community. Podcasts are just one way we can expand our reach and celebrate the people and programs that make this place special.”  

Balance wants listeners to know, “If anyone has any topics they would like us to discuss, please let us know via CNU’s instagram.” You can listen to CNU On The Lawn through Spotify and other podcast streaming platforms.