Student Spotlight- Ja’Lon Staples

As the Spring semester is slowly coming to an end, there was one last Student Spotlight to be chosen. Graduating senior, Ja’Lon Staples, has been chosen as our final Student Spotlight. He is currently finishing up his bachelor’s degree in Communications. Ja’Lon is from Cincinnati, Ohio, where he became a huge fan of Ohio State! Not only is he taking on classes, but Ja’Lon has been a member of the Black Student Union, a teammate in Men’s Cross Country, and served as FSU’s Social Media Ambassador for the month of February 2022.  

Senior year is one of the most bittersweet years any college student will experience. In the last semester of his college career, Ja’Lon said that his favorite class has been his Oratory class with Dr. Francene Kirk. He further explained why this class has been his favorite, “it has been my favorite class because it literally pushed me out of my comfort zone and gave me an important life skill, which is public speaking.” But we cannot have a favorite class without a favorite teacher, “Dr. Francene Kirk is my teacher, and I am so grateful for all of her feedback and all the things we learned from her.” 

For every student spotlight article, we ask students what accomplishments and achievements they are proud of. These students work very hard for what they get in their college career, so for them to be proud of something they have done is very important. Ja’Lon feels blessed that he was able to have the full college experience. From winning and being on homecoming court his junior year, being involved with things that go on – on campus, to being a student athlete for a year, he has done it all. However, he did say something that really stood out, “The one thing I am most proud of is my maturity, my growth, and establishing lifelong relationships with teachers, faculty, teammates, and even friends.” 

It was a leap of faith for Ja’Lon and his family when they moved to West Virginia in 2015 to further his sister’s basketball and academic career at West Virginia University. When it came time for Ja’Lon to choose where he would like to go, they found Fairmont State. “Making the decision to come to Fairmont State was one of the best decisions I could ever make… I chose Fairmont State because of the family aspect, everyone knows everyone, and I love the community aspect as well,” he stated. He has met many people, established relationships, and made tons of great memories. 

This summer, Ja’Lon will be working as a camp counselor at Camp Horseshoe, located in Tucker County, West Virginia. Camp Horseshoe is partnered through AmeriCorps and the Youth Leadership organization. He is still deciding his plans for after summer, but we do not doubt that he will do something amazing! Ja’Lon feels honored to have been chosen to talk about his experience here at FSU, in which he is grateful for the opportunity. 

As always, we want to thank Ja’Lon for accepting our Student Spotlight offer and giving us the opportunity to share his experience. We wish him well on his journey after graduation. I personally would also like to thank my student spotlight audience this semester, as well as The Columns’ Student paper, for giving me the opportunity to showcase my writing skills in my last college semester. It has been an honor writing for you all.