Hello! My name is Matt Knutson and I am going to be a senior at UW Seattle in the fall. I was born in Tacoma, WA and currently call Gig Harbor home while I’m not studying. Both of my parents attended UW and my younger sister just completed her freshman year there as well, so we are quite the Husky family! I am a psychology major and am also working on minors in ELS (Education, Learning, and Society) and diversity. I am also a volunteer for UW Dream Project, which works with high school students in the greater Seattle area to promote social justice and college access. During the 2017-2018 academic year, I will be a member of the 9/10th grade outreach program of the Dream Project, which specifically works with underclassmen. I am very excited to coordinate events and create material that will hopefully make a difference in student lives. After I complete my senior year, I plan to go to graduate school for Educational Psychology and would love to work as a school psychologist upon completion of that degree. I enjoy both playing and watching sports; I am a diehard Husky football fan and love the Seahawks and Mariners too. I also enjoy running and playing golf, especially with my dad, as it allows us to spend valuable time together while also doing something active and healthy. Both of my parents grew up in Bellingham, WA and many members of their family still reside there, so I consider the town my second home.
In my studies of psychology and education, and through my time in Dream Project, I have developed a specific and unique way of viewing the world. I spend many of my days pondering social injustice and how it affects people, especially in the world of education. Many problems in the classroom stem from a lack of understanding between teacher and student, which can lead to countless negative outcomes for students who are left feeling marginalized and forgotten. I am passionate about fighting against this historical tendency, which is one of the main reasons I was so interested in this study abroad opportunity. I am so excited for the complete cultural immersion into Maori culture that will take up my next few weeks, and I cannot wait to incorporate what I learn abroad into my academic life at UW and into my future career!