Best of Both Worlds

Sometimes your future can sneak up on you.

Matthew Stewart

Knowing that others are investing in him inspires Matthew Stewart to make the most of his Iowa State experience.

"When I was doing my undergraduate work at Simpson College, kinesiology wasn't on my radar until my junior year," said Matthew Stewart, a first-year graduate student in Iowa State University's Department of Kinesiology. "I was a psychology major, so that was the field I devoted most of my time to. However, I was also a soccer player and an avid exerciser, and I knew I wanted to include at least some part of that in my future." After one kinesiology class, he was hooked.

When it came time to choose a graduate school, there was no contest. One professor in particular swayed Stewart's decision. "When I met Dr. Gregory Welk and learned of his work, the choice of a graduate program suddenly became easy. I knew that with his focus in health promotion and physical activity, I would be able to combine the fields of kinesiology and psychology in my work," he said. "It was an intersection of my interests, and it allowed me to get the best of both worlds."

After completing his graduate degree, Stewart plans to pursue a doctorate and eventually work in the health promotion field, with some sport psychology on the side.

Receiving scholarship support allows Stewart to fully immerse himself in his graduate program. "There is the financial benefit of receiving a scholarship — and that benefit cannot be understated — however, its impact on me goes beyond that. The support that my donors have given me is part of the driving force I have to be successful," said Stewart. "It's something I want to pay back, and one way I can do that is to be successful, both now and in the future."