Matt Stearns '16

Sophomore in the pre-med program, majoring in biochemistry with a possible minor in political science from Center Harbor, NH

Why Hartwick?
I chose Hartwick because when I stepped on the campus it felt like I was meant to be here. The natural beauty of Oneonta really reminded me of home, and everyone here, students and staff alike, were as welcoming as could be. Coming from a high school graduating class of only 80 students, I definitely wanted a more intimate school, and that was certainly the case at Hartwick. But it wasn't just a small college that I wanted, I really needed a community that would challenge me and provide me with greater opportunities. Hartwick has provided me with more opportunities to excel than I imagined I could have at this stage in my education and career.

What are your classes like?
My classes have been amazing. Most classes are very personal, and the teaching is phenomenal. The largest class I had was a general biology class that had about 60 people in it, but that was never a problem; my professor could be reached at nearly any hour with questions, and was always ready to sit down and talk in his office - and he's just one example of the dedicated faculty at Hartwick. Every professor I've had has really made me want to come to every class, and that's saying a lot knowing how some days go.

What does "theory into practice" mean to you?
To me, "theory in practice" means that I'm getting an education that is preparing me in a practical way for my career, but in a way that also stresses the important underlying concepts that may otherwise be overlooked. Theory in practice is a good system for people who are curious, it really suits you if you're the kind of person who looks at a perfectly practical set of information, and asks "Why?" That's why Hartwick is amazing, because we keep asking "Why?" We keep delving deeper and we keep finding answers.

How have your professors made an impact on your education?
My professors have made a huge impact on my education. You're not going to find a bad professor at Hartwick. They're all incredibly intelligent and excited to share what they know with students. True, deadlines and workloads can strain relationships between students and professors, but I know for a fact that if you give 100% no professor is going to overlook that. Hartwick's professors are the best resource the College has to offer.

What do you do outside the classroom?
Outside of the classroom I like to live it up. Being from New Hampshire made me into someone who really appreciates the outdoors. I hike, I bike, and kayak, swim, and I especially love skiing. I really love connecting with the world that God put here for all of us to enjoy. Just a side note: Oneonta is prime cycling territory.

How do you describe Hartwick to your friends back home?
When I describe Hartwick I can't help but mention our size. While it may seem crazy when compared with where my friends are going, it's not that it makes Hartwick better or worse than their schools; it makes it different. Many people enjoy the feel of a large college, but personally I love walking down our halls and knowing nearly every name - I think that's special.

What comes after Hartwick?
After Hartwick I'm going to medical school. I hope to get into the University of Chicago's medical school. I really don't know what I want to specialize in, but I love having all these open doors. There are so many challenges but there are even more opportunities that lay ahead.

What would you tell future Hartwick students?
Future Hartwick students, remember why you're here. Remember to have fun (which I doubt you need much of a reminder for), but also remember to work hard. Don't forget that you get out what you put in; and that Hartwick will always match your investment.