Friday, December 09, 2011

Scott Ullom says it was the “be First” attitude that attracted him to Fairmont State University.

The first time Ullom visited Fairmont State’s campus he was attending a workshop as a student representative for another college. As a deaf student, he immediately found the FSU community welcoming and supportive.

“I visited 17 other colleges and universities,” Ullom said. “At Fairmont State, four people offered to direct me around campus within the first seven minutes of being here.”

Ullom was pleased to find a school that not only met his physical needs, but also provided the educational and experiential opportunities he desired. After visiting campus and interacting with helpful and outgoing faculty and staff, he knew that he had found the right fit.

Today, Ullom and his hearing assistance dog, Raider, are very popular on campus, frequently seen surrounded by a friendly circle of students or faculty and staff. In fact, Ullom was elected by the student body to serve as its representative on the FSU Board of Governors.

It’s this kind of caring that makes FSU a first class environment for learning and living. Ullom recently had an experience that he says shows a practical application of the “be First” spirit.

One day when headed to his biopsychology class in Jaynes Hall, Ullom was met by his sign language interpreter who let him know that the elevator in the building was temporarily out of order. Ullom advised his interpreter to take his voice recorder to the classroom and let Dr. Joe Shaver know he could not get to class. Ullom said he needed the review of material that would be covered that day for a test the next week, and he would just pick up the recorder later.

Ullom said he was surprised and humbled by what happened next. Dr. Shaver relocated the entire class to the first floor of Jaynes Hall to make sure Ullom and Raider could attend. Carrying an armload of papers and a box, Shaver even helped Ullom with Raider for the short trip to the new classroom.

“This is the reason that I will succeed, and this is why the students of Fairmont State University have the potential to be global leaders in their fields of study. This is the reason that Fairmont State is a world class university. Without the extensive assistance of Dr. Shaver, combined members of the student body and my friend and interpreter Ky (who works through the University's Office of Disability Services) I would have missed more than a class, I would have missed an event,” Ullom said.

“I’d like to thank Dr. Joe for his understanding, concern and especially his ‘be First’ attitude. He is a shining example of the reason that Fairmont State is first class.”