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Christie Hyde, '98

Raised for most of her life in the small town of Roebuck, S.C., near Spartanburg, Christie Hyde graduated from the University of South Carolina Upstate in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in journalism.

Christie recalls her times here as a student who “spread myself pretty thin.” She worked in the athletics department, was sports editor for The Carolinian, and also worked in the sports department of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, all while constructing her senior thesis. She credits Athletic Director Mike Hall for taking a chance on her and giving her the opportunity to learn.

She says “I walked into Mike’s office and asked for a chance to learn. I told him he didn’t have to pay me, just give me a chance at getting hands-on experience.” Her volunteer work in the athletics department later developed into a student employment position. She also gives credit to Jimm Cox, professor of theatre, who she describes as being tough but fair, entertaining and enlightening. She says, “I joked that I had Jimm Cox for so many classes, I thought his signature should have been on my diploma.”

Her fondest memory here at USC Upstate was planning and executing the NCCA Division II Men’s Soccer National Championship in 1998 and studying abroad with fellow students at Kingston University the same year.

After graduating, Christie has held jobs with the U.S. Olympic Committee in the media relationship department, with NASCAR, and currently with AAA. In her current role, she oversees their national public relations program in the areas of automotive and traffic safety. She previously led publicity for AAA’s national motorsports program, which included sponsorship of the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500 and Roush Fenway Racing Driver David Ragan. Christie has made appearances on many national news programs including the Today Show, MSNBC and Fox News, and regularly is quoted by the major media outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, Forbes, USA Today and many others.

She states that her biggest accomplishment was being the youngest member of the media relations team at the 2000 Olympic Games. “I had just turned 24 years old when I left for the games in Sydney, and I already was working with the biggest names in broadcasting such as Katie Couric, Matt Lauer and Tom Brokaw.”

In her spare time Christie dedicates her time to home improvement projects around her house, working with one of the cold-weather homeless shelters in Port Orange, Fla., and playing with her dog Amber, a rescued pit bull mix.