Matt Parsons is an Honors and Humanitarian Engineering Scholars (HES) student who takes pride in doing what most people find difficult or challenging. Parsons is a member of Engineers Without Borders, has led a Buck-I-SERV trip, and works with the new students to help them create a sense of community. Parsons has sought challenges at The Ohio State University that have helped him become the person he is today and looks toward the future with the hope of inspiring others.
Why did you choose The Ohio State University?
I chose Ohio State because of the combination of affordability and educational excellence. Another important factor was the limitless opportunity. I was not certain of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but I knew there would be opportunities to pursue anything at Ohio State.
Why did you choose your field of study?
I chose to study chemical engineering because I was seeking a challenge. I believe challenges are opportunities to grow and learn and chemical engineering has certainly provided me with a challenge. I also take pride in doing what most people find difficult or challenging.
How has The Ohio State Scholars Program contributed to your college experience?
The largest contribution Honors and Scholars has had in my college experience is the HES community. All of the HES students live in Drackett Tower and are very supportive of each other. The closest friends I have made at Ohio State were my roommates during my first year. I work closely with a lot of my HES peers in different classes and student organizations. I traveled with some of them to Guatemala through the engineering service-learning course offered at OSU. I also led a Buck-I-SERV trip with ten HES students to Lafayette, Louisiana to work with Habitat for Humanity. I currently serve as a peer mentor for HES and I love working with the new students to help them create a sense of community for themselves.
Are there professional staff members that have assisted you on your Ohio State journey?
Rachel Tuttle, the HES program manager, has provided me with so much assistance and guidance throughout my experience at Ohio State. HES has been my favorite experience at Ohio State and she is largely responsible for that. Kristen Conroy has also been a great mentor for me. She taught an Introduction to Humanitarian Engineering class I took as a first-year student. She provided me with a lot of direction in the humanitarian engineering field.
What is your why for wearing a mask?
I wear a mask to save lives. It is a simple intervention that has relatively no impact on my day-to-day life that has the opportunity to protect the lives of others. Any minor inconveniences it may cause are not worth risking the lives of others.
What does #TogetherAsBuckeyes mean to you?
#TogetherAsBuckeyes means working together as a community to protect what we love. Regardless of the background, major, or demographics of any student we all share a passion for Ohio State. By working together to keep each other safe we can all stay on-campus pursuing the limitless opportunities Ohio State has to offer.
What are some of your most memorable moments at Ohio State?
It was exciting to receive an Outstanding Student Organization Award with Engineers Without Borders during my first-year. I had great role models in the upperclassmen at EWB and I was proud to be a part of our work. During the spring 2020 semester HES had its first alumni dinner. There were over 200 people at the event and I was a guest speaker to talk about my experience in HES and the Buck-I-SERV trip I led. It was rewarding to acknowledge my team members, friends, and roommates that mean so much to me.
What is something true about your life now that you never would've expected?
I would have never guessed that I would be teaching myself Spanish. I did not enjoy Spanish in high school, but I currently have a 450 day streak on Duolingo. I learned about the importance of languages during my study-abroad to Guatemala.
What are your goals/plans for the future in general?
My life theme is to inspire. The highest human act is to inspire. I want to become a role model and help kids around the world pursue their dreams because that is what my role models have done for me. I plan to achieve this by working at UNICEF in the future. I want to ensure basic human needs are met for kids around the world. First, I plan on attending graduate school to earn a Master's degree in Humanitarian Engineering. I am currently interested in the Colorado School of Mines Humanitarian Engineering program. In the distant future, I am interested in earning a Ph.D. in Humanitarian Engineering and becoming a professor of Humanitarian Engineering at a university to give back to students and share what I have learned.