University Community

Fall Grad Spotlight: Bryan Slaton

Bryan Slaton, originally from Miamisburg, Ohio, graduates this semester with a bachelor’s degree in outdoor education and recreation from the Patton College of Education.

What are your next steps or plans for the future? 
I was hired by the EPA as an Environmental Specialist. Upon graduation, I will be working in pollution prevention and environmental education. 

What memory stands out from your time at OHIO? 
Adapting to adversity in learning strategies when COVID-19 shifted our entire learning process.  

Why did you choose OHIO?  
I chose Ohio University because of its location. Southeast Ohio is a beautiful area with plenty of recreational opportunities within 15 minutes of campus.  I also live relatively close to my family in Dayton, Ohio.

Who were your favorite professors and how did they make an impact on your life? 
I would not necessarily say I have a favorite. Each professor brought something new to the classroom, and I grew my perspectives from each person who gave so much to the curriculum. I will say that if it were not for Bruce Martin, I more than likely would not have pursued a bachelor's degree at Ohio University. A simple conversation outside the classroom led to something that will impact my life positively for my family and I cannot thank him enough for that.  

What was the hardest hill you had to climb (not counting Jeff Hill) at OHIO? And how did you overcome challenges or obstacles in your path?
As a nontraditional first-generation student, there were many challenges I faced. Being a full-time student is a lot of work. Add on the responsibilities of being a father, husband, and employee, it was a daunting task to get to where I am today. Having so many responsibilities was certainly tough but having a fantastic supporting team around me was crucial to my success. My wife, family, and staff here at Ohio University made life a bit easier.

What are your favorite OHIO memories? 
My favorite memories would have to be the relationships made with fellow students throughout my time on campus. Going fishing with fellow classmates or experiencing the high ropes course made for lifelong friendships.

What’s the one thing you would tell a new OHIO student not to miss? 
Most students overlook the public land we have access to here in Athens. Many lakes, rivers, and creeks have plenty to offer the outdoor enthusiast and were very important to my overall well-being. Having these places to recreate and facilitate a relationship with nature is something I highly recommend as you spend time here. Go fishing!

November 28, 2022
Staff reports