Photo courtesy of Nikki Noya. University Alumna Nikki Noya (center) poses with her co-anchors Gailen David (left) and Bobby Laurie (right).
A University of Rhode Island communications alumna has recently landed a job as an anchor on the travel television show, “The Jet Set.”
Nikki Noya, class of 2000, attended URI as a communication studies major and is now looking to give back to the program that she feels helped her get to where she is today.
As a member of the Harrington School advisory board, Noya mentors a Harrington School student in the spring semesters and has dedicated a family fund to create a new scholarship at URI. This scholarship is awarded to a female student in the Harrington School who shows she knows how to work hard. Noya wants to make sure students now have the tools they need to succeed.
“That’s my job now, to help improve life for students,” said Noya.
Working hard is something that Noya embodied when she was a student at URI.
Noya attended URI with a passion for volleyball and nutrition. A member of the division one volleyball team, Noya spent most of her time at URI in class or in the gym. She stated that there was no time for clubs related to communication studies.
“When you’re on the volleyball team you can’t really do other clubs,” said Noya. “Your life is that volleyball team. It’s like practice, class, then back to practice.”
However, one retired URI communications professor, Dr. Agnes Doody, helped Noya get those club experiences inside the classroom.
“I had a lot of classes with Dr. Doody and she taught me how to be a badass woman and how to public speak, and really articulate and how to get people’s attention,” said Noya.
Doody spent 50 years in the communications department at URI and remembers Noya from her courses.
“I always think of her as a lot of fun, good student,” said Doody. “I was delighted for her when I found out that’s where she is.”
Noya took the lessons learned from Doody with her to graduate school where she studied to become a personal trainer and nutritionist. She was a personal trainer for ten years when she started doing fitness segments for on-air talk shows.
“I was doing fitness segments on all different shows and I started doing in on ‘The Jet Set,’” said Noya.
The fitness segments were how Noya was able to make the jump from personal trainer to travel journalist.
“The original woman left the show, so I asked for a chance on the show,” said Noya. “An hour later they called me and said, ‘We were hoping you would want the job.’”
Now, Noya spends her days traveling all over the world, covering travel locations and doing her original segment “Fit to Fly.” So far, Noya has been to Russia, Sweden, Belize and many more locations all across both the United States and the globe.
“I really like Belize, the people there,” said Noya. “But I also loved Franklin, Indiana. I like small town America. We were covering festival country, and the people just couldn’t have been nicer.”
Noya’s original segment, “Fit to Fly,” still airs today. In this segment she shows viewers how they can stay active while traveling. These segments include anything from goat yoga, to aerial yoga, in which Noya reports on her experiences.
When she is not traveling Noya and her team of five executive producers shoot and write scripts for future episodes. The team has their own studio, set up to look like an airplane, as well as all of their own studio equipment.
Noya referred to her co-executive producers as her family and said she feels that the friendly environment makes their episodes come from the heart.
Noya’s advice to current students looking to get into her field of work is to always say yes.
“You should probably just say yes to as many things, because you never know what it could lead to,” said Noya. “Don’t limit yourself.”