SUU to Everywhere

Jarom Hlebasko ('07)

Jarom Hlebasko ('07) | SUU to GIS Professional


Originally published on August 12, 2019.

Jarom Hlebasko took a leap of faith when he changed his major from computer programming to geographic information systems (GIS). At the time, he had never heard of GIS. However, Jarom followed the advice of a friend when he enrolled in a few GIS courses and got in touch with GIS Program Director David Maxwell.

“I had no idea what GIS was when I started, but it only took one semester for David to get me interested,” he said. “GIS is very challenging, but I love challenging things. It was a good fit from the get go.” 

Jarom was paralyzed in an accident prior to attending SUU, and left with limited movement in his arms and fingers, making typing and using a computer mouse difficult. Professor Maxwell was able to get ADA accessible desks and software for Jarom. 

“I really loved having him around because he was very efficient, more so than other people,” Maxwell said. “He spent more time learning and experimenting with the software than anyone else, even with his limitations.”

Maxwell helped Jarom secure his first job after his accident. As an undergraduate student, Jarom worked with the Utah Geological Survey, using GIS software to custom map different areas in Beaver, Utah. 

Sunrise Engineering approached Jarom in his final year at SUU, and offered him a full-time position before he’d even graduated. 

“I was just over the moon, it was amazing,” he said. “I didn’t think I would get to that point that fast. It really was the offer of a lifetime.”

Jarom graduated from SUU with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology. He has worked with Sunrise Engineering for twelve years, and is currently the company’s GIS Team Lead and Principal Developer of Sunrise Cloud SMART GIS. 

Jarom loves hiring SUU alumni who have completed David’s program. “Hands down, we’ll hire anyone who goes through Dave’s program if we have the room,” he said. 

Learn more about SUU’s GIS Program