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|AEB Profile Sypolt|
BONNIE SYPOLT AEB PROFILE
Where are you from?
Where do you currently live?
3 words to describe yourself?
I am organized, a realist and thoughtful.
What is the most interesting thing about you?
Over the course of a year, I recently biked the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail from the beginning to the end (Cleveland to Bolivar).
How did you find Hiram?
I worked at The Babcock & Wilcox Company for almost my whole career. The company offered a tuition refund program for employees who wanted to go back to school and obtain their degree. Being a mother, wife and working full time, I knew it would be impossible to attend classes 2-3 times a week night. However, Hiram College offered a weekend program. Several co-workers were in this program and highly recommended attending Hiram. The weekend program had many benefits at that time such as being able to attend classes every-other-weekend, flexibility on courses, able to go at my own pace, etc. Even though the campus was an hour’s drive from my home, it was worth it due to the fact it fit my need and schedule.
What clubs were you involved in?
Your favorite Hiram traditions?
Adjunct Professor, Dr. James Laux and adjunct instructor, Bill Nichols.
What is your favorite location on campus?
What is your favorite Hiram memory?
My Weekend College “Theatre Mask Making” class. It was a three-weekend long summer class. One project was to make a life-size head (think…large mascot-type constructed head piece). The majority of the class consisted of non-traditional students who were new to the college curriculum and campus setting – let alone working with never before used art material such as foam, fabric, glues, sewing, drawing skills, paints, etc. It was hilarious working with a bunch of people who were rushing from room to room trying to understand the project, cut materials, glue and sew, then assemble to bring our “heads” visually alive. This class created a bond by bringing people together to help each other, laughing at our mistakes, and finding commonality. Eventually, everybody pulled it together by the end of our course and we “modeled” our creations – which included Brutus Buckeye, Little Critter, Disney and other cartoon characters – to name a few. It was a stressful, pressure filled course, but fun and entertaining throughout the days and made for a memorable learning experience.
What is the most important thing that you learned from Hiram?
Working in groups with people who had different ideas, unique ways of doing things, diverse backgrounds, and various ages. Some of Hiram’s group activity courses would pull you out of your comfort zone and challenge you to do things you normally wouldn’t perform. You might not have looked forward to some of the tasks, or even enjoyed all parts as you were engaged, but upon reflection, you realized how great they were and what you gained from the experiences.
Do you feel that Hiram prepared you for your future?
Given that I was a Weekend College Student – I was already “in my future” – so I didn’t think this question applied to me. However, by going back and getting my degree it benefitted me when I reached my early retirement and went to work at The J.M. Smucker Company. The company only hires people with a degree (even for my part-time position) – so having my degree gave me the opportunity to pursue a new career at a new company. This was something I wasn’t expecting or planned for—so in essence, my degree prepared me for a future unbeknownst to me.
What is your current employment? Retired? What are you doing now?
I am retired. I work part-time (as needed) at the J.M. Smucker Company since 2013.
What do you enjoy in your spare time?
Biking, boating, traveling, cooking, sports, reading on my porch swing, playing cards and board games!
What brought you back to Hiram and why the Alumni Executive Board (AEB)?
I am a new member. I realized that I missed the academia aspects and wanted to be involved with the campus culture and learning elements. I hope to be able to utilize my years of business knowledge, combined with my Hiram experience, to assist and promote the alumni activities through decision making committees.