One year after stepping into a newly-created role for the Razorback Foundation, Kassidie Blackstock is considered a “communications quarterback” and trusted senior adviser by her boss, Scott Varady.
Blackstock’s early achievements include revamping the foundation’s website, creating new platforms for giving, growing a social media audience, and launching new initiatives, such as a Christmas in July online sales event.
Her job responsibilities include telling the story of the foundation to members and the public, working with media, advancing private gift support and developing a stewardship program for donors.
Blackstock has always worked in communications, but the industries have varied. She studied broadcast journalism at the University of Tennessee and worked in the athletic department there. She also interned in the Tennessee governor’s press office and worked at the Pentagon and for a global public relations firm. Most recently, she was the director of donor communications for the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
When she visited the UA to interview in 2018, Blackstock remembers rain pouring from dreary skies throughout her visit. “But I loved every minute of it. In Tennessee, we had a divided fan base. As soon as I crossed into Arkansas, I recognized there is support from a passionate fan base everywhere you go in this state.”
At age 24, Blackstock was diagnosed with stage III melanoma, and since recovering, she has run more than 10 half-marathons out of gratitude and commitment to health.