The Marietta Effect
Matthew Williamson '07
Major: Computer Science and Mathematics
Minor: Leadership Studies
Additional Education: Master’s and Ph.D. in Computer Science at West Virginia University
Current Job: Assistant Professor West Virginia University Institute of Technology
Hometown: Williamstown, WV
Clubs/Organizations: ACM, (MC)^2, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Student Senate, Commuter Council, Voice, Student Conduct Board, Alpha Lambda Delta, Pi Mu Epsilon, Omicron Delta Kappa
Favorite Professor: Dr. John Tynan
When did you know Marietta College was the right school for you?
I knew right before my senior year in high school. I wanted a quality education that was close to home and emphasized the small classroom environment. Marietta College was the perfect fit for me.
Favorite Marietta moment?
I’d say the summer trip to the Mediterranean with the McDonough Leadership program. We spent three weeks visiting Italy, Egypt, and Greece. It was a lot of fun, but it also opened my eyes to the different cultures that exist in this world. It was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I’ll never forget.
Describe what life was like during your time at Marietta College.
I was a commuter student, so I lived at home instead of on campus. I was perfectly fine with it since I had the best of both worlds. I had the same experiences and opportunities all other students had while being able to see my family every day. Most of my time was spent studying in Selby, rehearsing with ensembles, or attending club meetings. I was always busy doing something on campus, but it was definitely worth it.
What impact did Marietta College have on your career?
Marietta College helped me prepare for my career in several ways. First, double majoring in both computer science and math helped substantially prepare me for grad school. Since my area of emphasis was in algorithmic graph theory, both majors complemented each other very well. Second, as a professor, the inspiration for my teaching style came from some of the professors I had at Marietta College. Not only were they exceptional at teaching, but they also cared very much for their students, which made a significant difference in the success of the students.
What does it mean to be a Pioneer?
Being a Pioneer means several things. First, it means taking the initiative. The world is full of problems, and it’s up to us to step forward, provide solutions, and make a difference. Second, it means being passionate at what you do. When I was a student, I saw so many students become actively involved in what mattered to them the most. Having such passion is the spirit of Marietta College. Finally, it means having pride in your alma mater. During our lives, we will be given many opportunities and experiences. However, we cannot forget where it all started: at Marietta College.