Life is What You Make it: Skylar Mettert ’11 M ’14 Sees a Bright Future for UF
This is the twelfth in a series of stories heralding the many great people of the University of Findlay and the ways they support our mission of preparing students for meaningful lives and productive careers.
Sir Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
This quote is one that Skylar Mettert says he both “believes in and lives by,” and that’s not hard to buy. Mettert, University of Findlay’s Title IX coordinator and director of Greek Life and operations support, has given, and continues to give, a lot to the University and its students, and according to him, he’s genuinely happy to be able to do so.
Hailing from the Stryker, Ohio area, Mettert and his three sisters grew up surrounded by the sort of atmosphere that one would call “small-town friendly.” With only roughly 1200 residents, Stryker is the kind of place that might make even the UF campus seem intimidating. That was not the case, however, as Mettert arrived at Findlay for the first time as a high schooler and potential UF student. “I enjoyed the atmosphere of campus when I came for a visit,” Mettert said. “Everyone we interacted with was very welcoming & friendly. The University and the city are much larger than my hometown, but UF has, and continues to have, the same welcoming, close-knit, family feeling [as a small town].”
As much as UF was the clear choice for Mettert, his academic path wasn’t as immediately certain. For guidance, he called upon someone who could both speak as a beloved family member and a consummate professional. His grandfather, he said, was the long-time veterinarian in the area where he was raised, and Mettert had grown up working with him in the animal hospital. “I spent a lot of time talking [with him] about my options for college,” he added. Soon, armed with the advice of his grandfather and others, he was off to Findlay and its pre-vet program.
The diversity in programs and options the University offers began to turn him in a different direction for the future. As he had gotten involved early with various leadership roles on campus, his interest and focus, he said, shifted to higher education administration. He graduated from UF, and soon after, started his professional career with the University as the assistant director of student activities, on the way to his current position.
He is grateful for his daily work, Mettert said, as he has the opportunity, every day, to assist the campus community directly, whether that be with a policy question related to student organizations, or a more serious issue an individual might be facing under Title IX. The Title IX team provides educational programming focused on topics such as healthy relationships, sexual violence prevention, and creating a campus culture based on mutual respect. “I respond to reports that the office receives, offering support and resources to individuals. I truly love what I do,” he explained.
As a UF alumnus who became part of the University’s staff, Mettert has been fortunate to reap the benefits of campus friends and colleagues who have supported him the whole way. It seems that those are the types of folks that are being spoken of when the familiar “Oiler Family” that parents, students, alumni, faculty and staff mention as being a special part of the experience at Findlay is brought up. “My mentors that encouraged and supported me as a student have become colleagues and friends,” Mettert said. “Their example has allowed me to mentor, encourage, and support the students I’ve had the opportunity to work with.” It’s those same people who were there when Mettert, as a UF employee, earned his Master of Arts in Education, and who are there for countless others as a system of support and caring.
It’s that “giving” culture, nothing new to those who are a regular part of it, yet still infinitely important, that consistently weaves its way through the UF narrative. Even for those who are used to it, it’s something that is held dear. Mettert, a strong advocate for understanding and fairness for UF students and faculty alike, has seen the campus change positively over his career as a student, alumnus, and employee, and sees that change as a beacon of hope for an even better future. “What I am proud of is this,” he said. “More and more, our students are coming in as individuals that are confident in their identity. Our campus community provides a comfortable, safe environment that empowers us to be who we are.