Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2023 graduates.
North Dakota native Katelyn Matter is graduating from the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in medical studies.
Matter is a recipient of the Moeur Award, an award that requires the student to maintain a perfect 4.0 GPA while attending ASU. To qualify, graduating students are required to earn all of their courses at ASU within eight consecutive fall and spring semesters with no transfer hours.
Matter’s sorority, Pi Beta Phi, and her sorority sisters were some of the biggest supporting factors in her ability to earn this award.
“My sorority big (sister), she was a great mentor,” Matter said. “We had lots of our classes together as well. So, we would study together a lot; she helped me out.”
A schoolwork-life balance is also one of the most important things that helped Matter graduate.
“I have a pretty good work-life balance, I would say,” Matter said. “I feel like that's what gets me through a hard major. So I would say I probably hung out with a friend or just didn't do homework at least once a week, probably Saturdays, to take a break from school.”
Science is a constant for Matter. She took all the Advanced Placement courses she could in high school that were science-based. She also worked as a teaching assistant in human anatomy, physiology II and microbiology.
“It was a lot, but a very good mix of everything, and it was fun because I enjoyed it,” she said. “And I enjoy school, I enjoy learning. I was finally taking those science classes that I had interest in and knew that would be part of my future.”
Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?
Answer: I just had some family history of health issues. So I knew that I ultimately wanted to be a physician from a really young age. So I took those AP classes in high school, and that's where I truly fell in love with science and math. I was good at it, too. It came easy to me. And although I do study all the time, it was easier than my other courses. I just knew that that was the right career path for me.
Q: Why did you choose ASU?
A: First thing is the weather because it's freezing in North Dakota. The winters are horrible. And also, I just wanted to gain new experiences and really gain the independence that I needed at the time and meet new people from various backgrounds.
Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
A: That everyone does come from a different background and has very different experiences than you may have yourself, and to really just take the time to talk with these people and learn from them.
Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?
A: I would have to give it to the professor that I worked as a teaching assistant with (Professor Delon Washo-Krupps) — she taught me basically just to never give up and things will be hard, especially school. The classes that I took with her were very hard courses. But to just not give up and push through. She really taught me that I'm capable of achieving what I want to achieve as long as I put my mind to it.
Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?
A: Definitely the second floor of Hayden Library. I spent a lot of my time there.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I plan to go to medical school.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: Definitely addiction, because I even see it just on the streets here in Arizona every day. And I even know people who I'm close with who suffer with addiction, whether that be drugs or alcohol. So yeah, that would be what I would spend the money towards.
Written by Aidan Hansen, communications assistant, College of Health Solutions.
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