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Pop Culture

Vanna White celebrates 40 years on 'Wheel of Fortune' with an iconic throwback photo

White's glamorous letter turning made her a staple of the game show.

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Vanna White's signature wave.

Vanna White has officially made letter-turning into an art form for four decades.

The model and performer famously bombed as a contestant on “The Price Is Right,” in the early '80s, but it wouldn’t be long before her talents found a perfect home on another gameshow. And now, literally thousands of dresses later, White’s name is synonymous with “Wheel of Fortune.”

To celebrate the milestone, White posted a throwback picture to her Instagram, showing her next to host Pat Sajak during their early days on “Wheel of Fortune.”

She also included a recent picture of herself at 65 (as classically glamorous as always) alongside her longtime collaborator, doing her iconic gesture toward an elaborate “Wheel of Fortune” themed cake, complete with multiple Vanna White dolls.


"I can’t believe I’m saying this, but 40 years ago today I taped my first episode of @wheeloffortune. It’s been a wonderful 40 years, too!" she wrote in her caption.

"I’m so grateful to those of you who watch and everyone behind the scenes who make us look good. We wouldn’t still be here without all of you! (And the cake was delicious!)."

The show also posted a behind-the-scenes video of White’s 40th anniversary celebration.

In the clip, Sajak sweetly says, "Folks, it was 40 years ago on this very date that this young lady walked into the studio, trembling, and did her first 'Wheel of Fortune.’ And here she is. Happy 40th, my dear.”

Sajak and White have an undeniable chemistry. In an exclusive interview with People, White noted that it was their instant “brother-sister type relationship” that caught the eye of media mogul Merv Griffin. “He saw that we would be able to get along, and we do. We are like a brother and sister team." Griffin was obviously spot-on in his assessment, because very few dynamic duos have as enduring a legacy.

The pair have become so close that as Sajak approaches retirement, White admits she laments thinking about replacing him. "I don't even want to think about that. I mean, we're a team," she told People. Everybody relates ‘Wheel of Fortune’ to Pat and Vanna. We're like Ken and Barbie, you know?" she explains. "We've been in everybody's homes for 40 years, so it would be weird having somebody else turn my letters."

Of course, Sajak will be missed, but White already held her own as the show’s temporary host back in 2019, pretty much saving the day after Sajak had an emergency surgery.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that she nailed it after only half an hour of rehearsal, considering no one besides Sajak would know the show better than her. Yes, her talent goes far beyond letter turning. Though still, nobody does it quite like her.

Congrats, Vanna. You’ve graced our television screens for decades, bringing joy with a simple turn of the wrist. How many people can say that?

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.

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TikTokker Brielle Asero, 21, a recent college graduate, went viral on TikTok in October for her emotional reaction to the first day at a 9-to-5 job. The video, which received 3.4 million views, captured the public’s attention because it was like a cultural Rorschach test.

Some who saw the video thought that Asero came off as entitled and exemplified the younger generation’s lack of work ethic. In contrast, others sympathized with the young woman who is just beginning to understand how hard it is to find work-life balance in modern-day America.

“I’m so upset,” she says in the video. "I get on the train at 7:30 a.m., and I don't get home until 6:15 p.m. [at the] earliest. I don't have time to do anything!" Asero said in a video.

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