Michael Goldfarb headshot

The confidence to work in Homeland Security program and grant management came from Ohio University and WOUB

Posted on:

< < Back to

Michael Goldfarb graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism in 1998

ATHENS, OH – Growing up in Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C., Michael Goldfarb listened to sports talk radio with his dad a lot.

“My dad really loved it,” said Goldfarb. “And as I listened with him, I knew it was a career area I wanted to pursue.”

So, when it was time to apply to colleges, Goldfarb started looking for well-known and respected journalism programs.

“My mom’s friend told us that Ohio University had a great journalism school,” said Goldfarb. “The more I learned about it, the more I realized it was a good fit for me. Ohio University was not too big, but not too small. I was impressed.”

Goldfarb arrived on campus in the fall of 1994 and started to look for ways to get involved and build friendships.

“Being from out of state, I didn’t really know anyone,” said Goldfarb. “I looked for clubs and activities to meet people and make friends. That’s when I learned about WOUB and thought it was a great opportunity to do work in radio.”

After Goldfarb started working as a student at WOUB, he realized he was interested in both radio and television and got involved in everything that he could.

“I was a part of the weekly sports radio show on WOUB AM called SportsBeat. I really enjoyed working on that program the most because I liked working with everyone and planning out what we were going to do,” said Goldfarb. “We got to interview other broadcasters and people nationally because the journalism school had a great reputation. Other sports broadcasters were willing to come on the show and everyone contributed.”

When Goldfarb graduated, he was hired as the weekend sports anchor at WHIZ in Zanesville, Ohio. He also did weather and worked in the production department helping to put the weekday 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts on the air. Goldfarb worked at WHIZ for about a year and a half.

“That’s when I decided to go in a different direction,” said Goldfarb. “I was working six nights a week and it got to the point, after a little while, where I needed to take a little break. I took a break from journalism and haven’t gone back.”

Goldfarb moved to Cleveland and worked in hospitality and marketing before moving back home to Maryland. It was there that he eventually found his career path.

“I got a job doing project management-related work for the local volunteer center,” said Goldfarb. “I ran a grant program that introduced high school students to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers.”

Goldfarb also worked for a small communications consulting company doing marketing and went back to college at The Johns Hopkins University to get his master’s degree in communication with a concentration in corporate and non-profit communication. In 2010, Goldfarb got a job at the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. He started there as a program manager and is now the manager of finance, grants and administration. Even though his career has moved away from journalism, Goldfarb says he still uses what he learned in journalism school and at WOUB every day.

“Journalism gave me a healthy dose of skepticism and taught me to always do my research and make sure what is being said is correct. Journalism really helped me always look for the story. When I have to explain to county politicians why we want them to fund a particular project, I figure out the headline. What’s the story? What’s the first paragraph? I’m always trying to craft the story,” said Goldfarb. “I think WOUB gave me confidence. The job I’m doing now, I had no experience doing. But I learned at WOUB that I could do anything. The great thing about WOUB was there were always great people there to help. Having the experience at WOUB to jump into something I’ve never done before, looking back, I now know that I’ve tried something new before and I can do it again.”