Name: Madison Malot
Major/Minor: English literature/American Sign Language
Hometown: Central Point, Ore.
Favorite campus event: Performance by Dip-Hop rapper WAWA, part of Western Accessibility Awareness Month (WAAM)
Best study spot: Rick’s Place or the second floor of Hamersly Library
Advice to incoming freshman: “Be more confident and don’t freak out if you make changes along the way—things are going to work out!”
Until her grandfather shared that he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at WOU, Malot had never heard of the university. A spring visit during junior year of high school sold her on attending in the fall, as well as a strong criminal justice program.
Four years later, Malot has made a home at WOU. The focus of her studies has evolved through work experiences at the Office of Disability Services (ODS) and through involvement with numerous student organizations.
“I started off studying criminal justice, then I switched to English literature because I wanted to be an English teacher,” she said.
English had always been a strong subject, and professors like Dr. Thomas Rand provided continuous support and guidance through the program.
During her junior year, Malot began working for ODS which lead her to explore and clarify other career options.
“The staff at ODS, especially Malissa Larson and Louann Casares, helped me to realize that disability services are what I love.”
In addition to academics, Malot made it a priority to stay involved in the campus community by serving in Associated Students of Western Oregon University (ASWOU) and the WAAM committee.
Another program that has been special to her is the Student Enrichment Program. As a student in the program, she was paired with advisor Letitia Erckenbrack.
“I could cry with Letitia, I could laugh with Letitia. Being a part of the program has been incredible, they were a huge support to me through school.”
Looking back on her college career, she expressed how great the last four years have been, despite the common challenges faced by students, such as changing academic programs and navigating roommate clashes.
“My life would not be moving in the direction it is without the experiences and people I’ve met here.”
After graduation, Malot will be enjoying a relaxing summer before entering into the Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling graduate program at WOU.
“This campus has been an outlet me for to explore who I am and what I want to do in my life, and I’m excited that I’ll have two more years here.”