EU Alumni Perspective: Kristi Capel-Hula
Name: Kristi Capel-Hula
Graduation Year: 2005
Major: Broadcasting and Communications
Current Position: Morning News Anchor at Fox 8 News Cleveland
City and State: Cleveland, OH
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
After graduating from Evangel University in 2005, I started my television career in Springfield, MO at KSPR News. Three years later while getting my meteorology degree online from Mississippi State University, I was a weather anchor for WBRE/WYOU News in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
A few years later I was on my way to market 16 in Cleveland, OH, spending the last 10 years at Fox 8 News. I started as a traffic reporter and host for the #1 local entertainment show, New Day Cleveland. I also joined the sports department, covering high school football every Friday night and hosting the Emmy award winning show, Friday Night Touchdown. It wasn’t long before I was promoted to News Anchor for the #1 morning show in Cleveland from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m., Monday through Friday.
With our show being the heavy hitter in the city, I’ve had the opportunity to interview many celebrities that have come through Cleveland – from Snoop Dogg to Derek Hough, Sinbad, and a one-on-one interview with Vice President Joe Biden. Fun story, Dr. Oz did my gender reveal for my second child live on our morning show! Our show even had a chance to cover the Republican National Convention in 2016.
What is your favorite memory from Evangel?
I have so many great memories that it’s hard to choose just one. Of course, my first favorite is finding my amazing husband. He was an All-American football player for Evangel University. As a player on the volleyball team, I saw him in the trainer’s room and it was love at first sight. However, I did have to chase him the entire first semester, but he still denies that 15 years later.
I was lucky to be at Evangel the same time as my older brother, Bert Capel! He was a tremendous basketball player. Then my little brother, Jackson Capel, came in five years later and broke several Evangel basketball records! I’ve always been a proud sister. Bert is now back at Evangel this year as the assistant basketball coach and I’m so thrilled for the team.
I also have plenty of fond memories from playing volleyball for Coach P. Four years of traveling on buses and spending hours upon hours together, my team became like family. They were all amazing women of God and I was blessed to be able to build great relationships. Many I still stay in contact with today! I think my entire team can agree that our favorite memory is when Coach P. burned her face with a marshmallow during a team bonding night at a campfire!
How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?
I loved my entire four years at Evangel. I knew right away broadcasting was my calling. I immediately enrolled in television classes, got a work study job in the TV studio, and tried out for every show EUTV had to offer. I hosted the half-time entertainment for the men’s varsity basketball games. You never know what you’re good at if you don’t get out of your comfort zone and try new things.
The staff in the Communications Department were incredible. Dr. Cameron Pace, thank you for your guidance, letting me be creative, and your passion for each one of your students. Be a sponge and soak up their knowledge. It will pay off later in your career.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
For those of you reading this article and trying to navigate your life and career, just realize this… you’re not going to have it all figured out. I’m a planner and I like to know when and where things are happening well in advance. God has shown me that I’m not necessarily in the driver’s seat – as Carrie Underwood says, “Jesus, take the wheel!” What you do have control over is where you are now. Work hard and stay focused on what’s important to you, and as my mother always told me, make wise decisions. What you do during your four years at Evangel with the great group of leaders provided on campus can only help guide you.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
People who are aggressive, take initiative, and have a good personality. I have been in plenty of interviews. Be confident, know what you stand for, and always come with ideas on how you will be a great asset to the team they already have in place.