Grad profile: Shay Guyton

Name:  Shay Guyton
Age: 21
Major/Minor: Community health education/psychology
Hometown: Hillsboro, Ore.
Favorite campus event: New Student Week
Best study spot: Floor of residence halls, or study rooms in Hamersly Library
Advice to incoming freshman: “Keep doing the things you love. Don’t let other people tell you not to do them. I was hesitant to join things as a freshman, but I would say just jump in and don’t be afraid of what might or might not happen.”

Guyton first saw the campus of Western on a television commercial. With a little help from Google, she researched the university and soon planned a visit with her mom.

“The second we stepped on campus, it felt perfect. It was small and beautiful, we loved it right away.”

Since then, there have been very few moments where she has not been involved in campus activities. In four short years, she has been part of PLUS Team, Triangle Alliance, Pre-Nursing Club, hall government, and worked as a resident assistant and supervisor at Valsetz.

On top of that, she is Diversity Scholar in the WOU Honor’s program. Last year her involvement stretched all the way to South America, as she participated in a service-learning trip to Ecuador.

Her studies in the community health education program have prepared her to pursue work in the non-profit field, and she would really like to work with kids.

Drs. Siobhan Maty and Doris Cancel-Tirado inspired her to be a well-rounded woman and advocate for those who may not have a voice.

“They were super amazing because they always encouraged me to push past the basic expectations and to do more.”

Another influence came from working for Campus Housing and Student Leadership Activities, where she worked with Megan Haberman and Stephanie Anderson.

“I learned so much from them. They were always understanding and examples of such strong independent, strong women. Each of them brings out a desire to grow.”

Guyton described her personal growth as one of her biggest accomplishments while at WOU.

“By learning more about myself I realized I could help other people. Especially with my service trip to Ecuador. I raised the money, it was my first time ever to leave the country, and I was there to help the children, elderly, and people with different capabilities. I broadened my knowledge and immersed myself in another culture. It was amazing,” she explained.

Looking ahead to graduation, there will be a lot of celebration to do in her family.

“I set a new standard for my family by earning this degree and that means a lot. My family has had difficulties, but they all work really hard to be successful.”

A day after she graduates from Western, her mom will graduate from Portland State University with a bachelor’s degree in social science and psychology.

“It’s exciting for us to have these degrees and to show that it can be done.”

Guyton will fondly remember all the memories she has made at the Werner University Center over the years and the delicious food at Urban Deli, but she is eager to begin her career.

“I’m going to work for awhile, but Portland State has a program where I could simultaneously earn a master’s in social work and public health, so I’m keeping my options open.”