Meet Matt Hawkins, student alumni ambassador
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Bandon, which is a tiny town on the coast that’s relatively famous for its golf course and cheese. I moved to Wilsonville (south of Portland) when I was 9, and lived there until moving to Corvallis three years ago.
Being a born-and-raised Oregonian, it was important to me to stay in the state. I chose Oregon State because I enjoyed the atmosphere of Corvallis; it’s large and diverse enough to be stimulating but small enough that the university is its heart. The beautiful campus didn’t hurt either.
How close are you to graduating, and what’s next after that?
If all goes as planned, I’ll graduate in 2022. After transferring here from PSU, and changing majors twice, needless to say, it’s been a long time coming and I’m quite excited for graduation day. That being said, I’m enjoying my journey here at OSU quite a bit. Ideally, after graduation I’d like to find a job in computer science, working in some facet of teaching or training. Education and computer science are my two passions, and finding a position that marries these would be amazing.
What has been your favorite class at OSU?
I’m thrilled with my CS 161 class with Kiri Wagstaff. Computer science can, in my experience, be a difficult discipline to teach. Wagstaff, a senior instructor, has done a great job making the content engaging and accessible. I also thoroughly enjoy my upper division Spanish series. Having had language classes at other universities, I have to say that Oregon State’s are top notch. Both of my instructors, Lucia Robello and Raissa Cañete Blazquez, helped give me the confidence to take what we learn in class and apply it in my life.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned outside your classes?
Don’t be afraid to find and pursue the thing you love. It’s advice we hear all the time and often ignore. However, having worked for a few years in between my time attending university, I learned through experience the importance of finding the thing that makes us tick. My mom always used to tell me, “Find the class that starts and ends without making you want to look at the clock.” Turns out, moms are always right.
Where’s your favorite place to hang out on campus?
If it’s raining (and it’s Oregon, so it always is), I love being in Kelley (Engineering Center) or the LInC (Learning and Innovation Center) while I’m working. I can see the rain, and be quite happy being inside, warm and dry. On our two sunny days each year, any of the campus sunspots outside of the library are where I generally am. If not, I love spending a sunny afternoon on Downward Dog’s patio with friends, people watching.
Of all the things you could choose to get involved in on campus, why the Student Alumni Ambassadors?
I originally heard about the group from a friend of mine. After attending a meeting and getting to know the group of people involved in SAA, I decided to throw my lot in with them. Not only does it provide an excellent opportunity for students from different disciplines to meet and collaborate, it’s also a fantastic way to connect with Oregon State alums.
What’s an aspect of today’s student life that probably would surprise alumni from 10 or 20 years ago?
All of the alumni that I’ve spoken with know Oregon State’s dedication to inclusivity, student success and academic excellence. Looking at the state of our university today, I’d be willing to bet that most alumni would expect us to be headed in exactly the direction we currently are.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to a potential readership of more than 200,000 Beaver alumni and friends?
I’d encourage current students to remember that our time here at OSU is a marathon, not a sprint. We all want to graduate, but enjoying the journey to that day is incredibly important. To alumni, thank you for paving the way and supporting the university in becoming what it is today!
The Student Alumni Ambassadors are associated with the OSU Alumni Association and are dedicated to enhancing connections among students past, present and future. SAA’s show pride and loyalty in Oregon State and its traditions by sponsoring campus events and encouraging today’s students to see themselves as future alumni and valued, lifelong members of the OSU community. For more, visit osualum.com/saa.