August 12, 2021
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Dr. Robert Matson Joins Huntingdon Faculty
Montgomery, Ala.—Dr. William (Robert) Matson has joined the Huntingdon College faculty in the Department of Chemistry as instructor of physics, Dr. Tom Perrin, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, announced this week.
Matson’s professional and academic background includes more than two decades in industry and almost as much time in academia. When a workplace injury led him to seek a different way to perfect his skills, he returned to school and earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Humboldt State University and his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Oklahoma. Matson completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Emory University and has taught for Central Michigan, DePaul, and South Dakota State Universities, as well as the University of Minnesota, during the last two decades.
“I like to see students succeed,” said Matson. “Just like all educators, I live for the ‘aha’ moments, the light bulbs turning on.” Matson said he enjoys teaching all aspects of physics. His particular favorites are fluid dynamics and circuits.
“Dr. Matson’s background is rich and varied,” said Perrin. “Not only does he have broad professional and life experience, but also his academic work and teaching have been accomplished almost exclusively in large state universities, where the atmosphere is very different from what he will experience at Huntingdon.”
Matson said he can already feel the difference. “There is more camaraderie between the students and faculty at Huntingdon, whereas at major research institutions there’s a distinct division between faculty and students. From the faculty perspective, there’s a feeling that we’re all in it together here at Huntingdon, whereas in big institutions faculty may walk past you and not even speak because of rivalries between and even within departments.”
Matson sees his diverse professional background as a resource to be used, and he hopes students will ask questions and learn from him. “I’ve been in industry; I’ve been an engineer; I’ve been an electrician; I was a paramedic and fireman; I wrote for the physics portion of the MCAT for three years—I’ve done a lot of things and I pull from all of those experiences, in addition to those in academia, when I teach.”
Huntingdon College is a coeducational residential liberal arts college of the United Methodist Church offering more than thirty programs of study and twenty NCAA-Division III athletic teams. The College also offers the Master of Athletic Training.