Stephen Zuravel: Sets course to change stereotypes 

Stephen Zuravel will be the student speaker at the Spring Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, at 2 p.m. He is graduating with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology.

Hometown: Akron, Ohio

Graduate: Homeschooled, Stark State postsecondary graduate

What’s next?

I will be moving to St. Petersburg, Fla., to work for Invacare, Top End in the engineering department.

Q: Best advice you ever got from a professor?

A: Don’t be afraid to live, in fear of missing out. There was an opportunity that came up which could have put school on hold. It was a big decision, so I spoke with Professor Craig Wise. He was really helpful in my gaining perspective of the situation. Ultimately, what he and I concluded was to not be afraid to take opportunities that go against the grain because of fear.

Q: Campus Involvement? 

A: My first few years at Akron, I was mainly involved with Campus Focus. I believe the story of Jesus Christ and with that, the importance of having a community to learn from and support.

Q: What’s your ultimate career goal?

A: It has always been extremely important for my career to support my family and others along the way. My main focus at this point is to position myself in such a way that I am able to support and help change lives for disabled people. I personally became handicapped when I was 19 after my freshman year at Akron. Having an injury has opened my eyes to the multitudes of people in different communities who need leaders and support. My ultimate career goal is to position myself in a leadership role to help change stereotypes and provide opportunities for people with disabilities.