Susan Walton: From Harley Davidson to BYU-Idaho


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BYU-Idaho welcomes Susan Walton, a new faculty member, to the College of Business and Communication.

“I love the students,” Walton said. “I came here once about 13 years ago to give a presentation, and I just loved the experience and the students were so wonderful.”

Walton joined the Communication Department faculty at the start of this semester and currently teaches Introduction to Public Relations and News Writing. She also mentors students and works as the public relations faculty advisor for Soapbox Agency.

“I was really humbled and honored to have this opportunity, and I’m really glad to be here,” Walton said. “I’ve had wonderful jobs, but there is nothing compared to teaching.”

Walton grew up in Alabama and joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during her last year of high school. Although she joined the Church on her own, her family supported her decision.

Walton attended BYU where she obtained her bachelor’s in independent studies and a master’s degree in English.

After graduating from BYU, Walton started working from home for Dow Chemical Company. She began as an editor for the newsletter, where she worked full time for 10 years.

Following her time at Dow, Walton worked at various companies, including Harley Davidson, Boise Cascade, BYU, University of North Dakota and now BYU-I.

After 28 years, and this time as a grandmother of eight, Walton went back to school to receive her Ph.D.

“It is never too late to pursue your educational dreams,” Walton said.

Earlier this year, Walton obtained her Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of North Dakota.

According to Walton, she’s enjoyed every job she’s had. She takes advantage of the opportunity to learn new things. At Harley Davidson, she learned to ride a motorcycle. When she worked at Boise Cascade, she learned about forestry. While in the chemical industry, Walton visited a chemical plant and said it was fascinating.

“Sister Walton brings a volume of experience,” said Doug Wood, a sophomore studying communication. “She knows the material and brings a deep and true interest for the students, a willingness to go out of her way and make a difference to help us succeed.”

Walton’s husband had a kidney transplant 21 years ago. At the time, she had a junior communications position at a company.

During this time, she got a call from the vice president of the company, who said “We are thinking about you. I hope your husband is okay. Take the time you need to do whatever you need and take care of your husband.”

Walton felt amazed that a man in his position would make a point to call a junior employee.

“I have never forgotten that he did that,” Walton said.

This experience served as a lesson to her that no matter how much someone advances in the workplace, what people remember most is when someone takes a personal interest in them and make a personal connection.

“When things get hard, allow people to help you,” Walton said. “It will bless your life, and it will bless the lives of the people who serve you.”

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About Craig Ballantyne 24600 Articles
I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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