Standout Seniors: Meet Matt Mathias (Communication)

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2022 is ready to make its mark on the world!  We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be introducing you to a few of our remarkable seniors who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.

Today, we’d like you to meet Matt Mathias: 


Major: Communication with a certificate in Public Relations

Hometown: Jamestown, Pennsylvania

Scholarships: I have received the Joseph and Isabel Prischak Trustee Scholarship and the Irvin Kochel Leadership Scholarship.

Why he chose Behrend: It was an hour from home and offered a wide variety of majors. I was unsure of what I wanted to do in college, so I liked having a lot of options. Also, who can deny the pedigree of a Penn State degree?

On choosing his major and changing plans: I changed my major a few times before deciding on Communication. It fits my skillset well and I have been able to continue with camera and video work that I’ve always enjoyed.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: My proudest accomplishment at Behrend has been making the Dean’s List in back-to-back semesters in 2021. The start of my college career was rough. I hit a wall early on when I was unsure what direction to pursue. I was unmotivated and struggled mentally, and then COVID happened and that didn’t help. In the end, support at home and here at Behrend helped me get back on my feet, and I’m incredibly proud of where I am now.

Awards and recognition: Myron Jones Broadcasting Award.

Campus Involvement: I’ve written for the Behrend Beacon since the spring of 2021 and am currently the sports editor. I also am involved in BVZ Radio.

On leadership: During the summer of 2018, I was selected to attend the Penn State Summer Leadership Conference at University Park. It was one of the best learning experiences I’ve had at Penn State.

On conversation and music: I can talk to anyone. I think this may stem from the fact that I played piano for a local church from the time I was 12 years old. I was constantly surrounded by adults and expected to hold conversations with them at a young age. It helped me become confident in my speaking abilities and taught me how to make friends and how to listen to and learn from other people. I developed compassion and empathy for others that I think has served me well as a communicator.

What you’d be surprised to know about him: I worked as a page for the Pennsylvania State Senate in Harrisburg in 2011 and 2012. I am highly interested in government and how state and national government functions, not necessarily the politics behind it all, but everything else that goes into it.

Passion for service: I love helping people. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and validates the work that I do. Not only that, but I learn a lot about myself when helping others. I’m always trying to grow and be the best version of myself.

Advice for first-year students: It’s OK to not to know what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. I’m graduating in a few months, and I still have no idea where life might take me. Just have confidence in yourself and listen to your gut. Never doubt that the hard work you put in will pay off.

Parting thoughts: I’m thankful for all the Behrend faculty members who have guided me throughout my college career as well as the advisers who paved the way for me. I’m excited for the next chapter of my life.

Matt will graduate in June and plans to find a job in media production or in the communications/public relations field.

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