Blind student has goals in sight

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    Robert Hunt has been totally blind since age 15, yet he refuses to let his blindness impede him from achieving his goals.

    Hunt, a senior from Pleasant Grove, Utah Co., majoring in psychology, carries a 4.0 GPA and is the 2001-2002 recipient of Brigham Young University’s annual Ford Motor Company/Golden Key International Honour Society Undergraduate Scholarship.

    “I do what I want but in a different way,” Hunt said.

    Sarah Westerberg, Golden Key BYU Chapter advisor, said the award is given to outstanding junior and senior Golden Key members.

    According to Westerberg, members of Golden Key represent the top 15 percent of juniors and seniors.

    The scholarship is based on overall scholastic performance, leadership skills, campus and community activity, and honors and awards received, Westerberg said.

    “It’s pretty impressive, all of the things he is involved in,” Westerberg said.

    Michael Lambert, professor of psychology, said Hunt works for him as a research assistant on several projects.

    Lambert said Hunt helps him with editing, has co-authored a book chapter and works on a research team studying the effects of psychotherapy.

    While discussing abnormal psychology, a class requiring heavy reading, Lambert said he was impressed with Hunt’s success as a student.

    “People would complain of the amount of reading and work load, but then there was Robert who outperforms everyone,” Lambert said. “I don’t know how he does it.”

    Chris Layne, assistant professor of psychology, has known Hunt since January 1999.

    Hunt has taken two courses from Layne and works as a research assistant for Layne doing literature searches.

    “He is a hard working fellow,” Layne said. “You have to throw him out when calculating the rest of the distribution.”

    Hunt said he attributes his success to perseverance, determination and the large amount of support he receives from his family, relatives and from God.

    “Heavenly Father has helped me through a lot,” Hunt said.

    Other than working as a research assistant and student, Hunt said he is also the vice president of the Phi Chi National Honor Society, Secretary of the National Federation of the Blind Utah Student Division, a member of the Disability Issues Advisory Council at BYU and a motivational speaker.

    Hunt said one of his high school teachers helped him, and at BYU volunteers take notes for him, read textbooks and act as scribes for tests.

    “I’m trying to do as much as I can with what I’ve got,” Hunt said. “Happiness doesn’t depend on what we have, but on what we are grateful for.”

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