Thursday, April 23, 2015

Deva Hupaylo in the News: "1976 Salem graduate speaks to Salem students"

Deva Hupaylo Speaking to Salem Students
Area Wide News
Photo by A.K. Barnes

My long-time Ozark friend Deva Hupaylo is again in the news, the local news this time. Staff writer A.K. Barnes reporting for the Area Wide News, writes of her by noting that a "1976 Salem graduate speaks to Salem students" (April 15, 2015):
Salem Graduate Deva Hupaylo visited her alma mater April 8 to visit with students about her successful career with the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Netherlands. Hupaylo's organization won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.

Hupaylo graduated first in her class in 1976. She was involved in any activity she could be. She involved herself in journalism, band, home economics, theatre, chess, . . . cheerleading and many more. "My class was very highly motivated and [as for] the things that weren't available, we asked for them," Hupaylo said. She noted that organizations such as drafting class, chess club and golf were nonexistent until her class made arrangements for these. "We took advantage of the opportunities that were available to us and asked for more sometimes," she said.

Hupaylo told students that just because they live in a small town . . . does not mean that there are not opportunities. She told them that there are plenty of opportunities if you look for them. She encouraged students to learn as much as they can while they are still young. She referred students to use a free online learning site to take online classes. The site is Coursera and it offers free online learning in endless fields of study. "My encouragement here is that you take advantage of all the opportunities that you have and if you don't see what you want, ask for it," Hupaylo said.
Deva's right that her class was highly motivated, far more so than my class was even though we were a year above hers, and Deva was the most motivated of them all. I recall her being so active that I scarcely saw her! She was very organized, however, and managed to keep everything under control.

That same skill at management has been honed to perfection in her career, and she has developed patience to match, two characteristics that have led to her success:
When asked what she is most proud of in her career Hupaylo said, "Getting the United States and Iran to agree on a decision concerning a certain aspect of the Chemical Weapons Convention. At that time the US and Iran were not agreeing on anything. So I was very happy to have gotten the US and Iran to agree on this decision. My objective when I came to this company was to be trusted by some of the significant states parties . . . not only [by] the US. I had to work very hard to gain the credibility with them. I've gotten many agreements with states parties that I have been proud of, they were possible because of the trust I earned. After a while the other parties learned I wasn't working for the U.S. I was working for everyone."

After closing, Hupaylo stayed with the seniors to encourage them to anticipate. Success has to be planned. Make a plan and take steps to accomplish your goals. "Never let someone tell you that you can't do something, not your friends or family. They don't know," she said.
I like her closing advice. I've never let anyone tell me that I can't do something, and that's a virtue that's gotten me some distance in life. My flaw is that I didn't make a plan . . .

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