RSU Radio Alumni Named 2023 NextGen Under 30 Honorees

Cade Thomas

Cade Thomas

Two former RSU Radio personalities and Rogers State graduates were recently named 2023 NextGen Under 30 honorees.

Cade Thomas of Broken Arrow and Katie Robbins of Adair were among those given NextGen Under 30 distinctions.  

Both were recognized for their work in the Media, Public Relations, Marketing & Advertising Work field, Thomas for his work with Cherokee Nation Business (CNB), and Robbins for her work with Cherokee Nation Cultural and Economic Development, LLC.

NextGen Under 30 Oklahoma recognizes Oklahoma’s next generation of leaders and achievers, honoring individuals and encouraging the next generation of innovative, creative, and inspiring individuals who push the boundaries in various categories of endeavor.

RSU Radio General Manager Tip Crowley remembers the pair as “rising stars” during their time at the radio station.

“Cade was someone who was always incredibly creative – in recent years, he’s done a lot of work with film productions, created his own documentaries, short films, etc., and for his capstone (project), he created a feature length film that actually went on to be featured at several film festivals,” Crowley said. “Needless to say, when he was here, he drove the sound of the radio station through production, but he also added his own layer of creativity that change the way that RSU Radio sounded, and even influences the sound of the (radio) station to this day.

Katie Robbins

Katie Robbins

“Katie came to us in 2017 and had a wide focus on what she wanted to do – she had skills in audio production, video production, and she was actually our local music director (at the radio station), so she was instrument in building a lot of contacts and relationships with local artists and venues in the Tulsa market,” he continued. “She created and hosted a show called ‘Only Oklahoma’ which we still have today, even years after she moved on.”

Crowley said he was unsurprised that the former RSU Radio students earned recognition for their achievements as they set themselves apart during their days in the studio.

“Both of them were excellent creative minds – and still are, apparently, but also, they were able to utilize the skills they picked up through a variety of classes in (RSU’s) communications department,” he said. “They’ve always been able to take the lessons learned in their classes and combine those with their unique creative approach to media production to create some very good, very interesting content.

“It’s nice to see students who’ve come through RSU Radio take their experience here and apply it, for lack of a better word, in the ‘real world’ after they graduate,” he said. “I’d like to think that being here at the radio station, learning in a practical, hands-on environment gave them – as it gives all our students — a better understanding of what it’s like to work in a media organization. It’s good to see them get recognition for that.”

Thomas and Robbins both graduated from Rogers State University in 2019.

NextGen Under 30 winners are selected by a panel of business and civic leaders, based upon their participation in and contribution to their communities.

For a complete listing of 2023 NextGen Under 30 Winners, visit

RSU Radio (KRSC-FM) is a student-run radio station that broadcasts 24 hours a day, playing “college alternative” music and hosting several specialty programs featuring punk rock, bluegrass, classic country, reggae, world, Latin, hip hop, ska, electronica, garage and others.

For more information about RSU Radio, visit