Appalachian Chained first went online on February 13, 2017, as a personal blog featuring reflections of a native Appalachian. The blog has since evolved into the writer’s portal to reflect on issues and topics pertaining to Appalachia and life in particular to central Appalachia and Southwest Virginia.
Appalachia is an economically distressed region looking to find its direction out of the darkness and into prosperity and success by utilizing its forgotten driving force, its people, to seek change. The blog also serves as an outlet that features commentary and coverage of events in Appalachia.
Appalachian Chained is a blog and forum for the community in and outside of Southwest Virginia, central Appalachia and the region, that is designed to inform, educate and to stir ethical debate on the issues that affect Appalachia, locally and regionally. The blog also is designed to showcase the diversity of the Appalachian region and is a tool for informing followers about Appalachia, in the mountains we call home.
Roderick Mullins is a freelance digital multimedia journalist born and raised in Appalachia, writer, and editor of “Appalachian Chained”.
He began his career in journalism and mass media working in radio after graduating high school and through his college years at Clinch Valley College (now The University of Virginia’s College at Wise) and as a reporter for The Cumberland Times newspaper in his hometown of Clintwood, VA. Mullins later moved to feature writing for “The Dickenson Star” while continuing his work in radio broadcasting. After graduating from UVa-Wise in 1988 with a B.A. in English/Communications, Mullins became the program director/news director/on-air morning show host for AM/FM station, WNVA in Norton, VA.
In the early 1990’s Mullins was the Director of Sports Information at UVa-Wise and served as the radio broadcast “Voice of the Highland Cavaliers” for football and basketball for seven seasons in addition to publicizing Cavalier athletics. He also covered NASCAR Winston Cup Racing for select media outlets, providing photos, interviews, and stories. In 1995, Mullins focused on transitioning to the public education sector where he has worked as a high school English, literature, and creative writing teacher and now serves as a school program coordinator in addition to serving as a mentor for the robotics team.
But a love for telling a story, whether through the written word, spoken or through audio, video or photography has returned him to what he loves, digital multimedia journalism.
In 2016, Mullins returned to writing covering local government and sports for The Dickenson Star and The Coalfield Progress newspapers, and in 2017 provided coverage of NASCAR, NHRA and the Short Track U.S. Nationals from Bristol for The Augusta Free Press online. He is presently the co-host of the podcast, “Stories: A History of Appalachia“, and is a contributor to “Street Knowledge with Chris Graham” podcasts.
He has interviewed former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder, son of famed U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, Francis Gary Powers, Jr., writer Sharyn McCrumb and actress Michele Specht from the web series “Star Trek Continues”, and covered the UMWA Pittston Coal Strike in its early beginnings in 1989.
Mullins lives in Wise, VA, with his wife, Kimberly, who is a middle school teacher and one son, Andrew. In his available time, Mullins enjoys genealogy, Appalachian history, podcasting, audio/video editing, graphic design and also pursues personal storytelling and informational presentations about historical topics from Appalachia.