Student Spotlight: Matt Brousil
Major: Transfer/A.A. and A.S.
Interests: Student Leadership
Council, Endowment for
Matt Brousil, who graduated from Lyons Township High School, chose College of DuPage after receiving a scholarship to the Glen Ellyn institution.
During his time at COD, Brousil was a member of the Living Leadership Program, the Student Leadership Council and the Endowment for Future Generations.
"During my first year, I was just feeling my way around and getting a handle on the atmosphere," he said. "But I knew how important it was to get involved with other students and learn from their perspectives."
Brousil was equally impressed with his instructors, including Casey Slott, associate professor of Speech; Richard Jarman, professor of Chemistry; and Michelle Moore, professor of English. It was Moore who told him about Evergreen College in the state of Washington.
"She thought it was the perfect fit for me, so I visited and fell in love with it," he said. "She was the one who ultimately gave me the idea to explore environmental studies."
In 2011, Brousil earned both Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees and was named one of the two Outstanding Graduates. At Evergreen, Brousil is focusing his studies on Agroecology and sustainable agriculture. He worked as a farm assistant intern with a local organization in Olympia called Garden-Raised Bounty ("GRuB"), using this internship for academic credit.
"I consider myself lucky for finding classes here that offer almost entirely field-based work, and which set students up for faculty-supported independent research options," he said. "From January to February (2013) I took part in a backpacking trip and field ecology course in Patagonian, Chile, through the Wildlands Studies consortium program. The trip was a great follow-up to the Costa Rica Study Abroad I participated in at COD, and served as an interesting comparison between environments and lifestyles in Central and South America.
"With some guidance from Dale Simpson at COD, I also spent a week backpacking and touring Easter Island in March at the end of my Chile trip. I've kept in touch with him since I took his People and Cultures of the Pacific class in 2011, and I've been working with him in selecting a graduate school for a master's or Ph.D. program."
Brousil will graduate in 2014 with a dual BA/BS degree, a mixture of agroecology and ecology studies, and then will start graduate work after that. He's also discovered a love for scientific writing.
"With the amount of research I've been working on this last year, I have sought out more outlets to improve my writing and to support my peers in the field," he said. "In May, I started working as an Associate Editor of both Psychology & Social Sciences, and Physical Sciences, Mathematics, & Engineering for the Journal of Young Investigators, an online undergraduate research journal. I also will be moving up to a Research Editor position in one of the two subject areas, though I'm not sure which one yet."
Eventually Brousil would like to go into research and then teach.
“I want to pass along what I’ve experienced at COD,” he said. “I want to help kids discover how exciting it can be to explore something in-depth and then turn it into something they can pursue in their lives.
"I honestly had no idea how great a resource COD was going to be for me, and I know that I would have ended up following a completely different and less planned path if it wasn't for people like Dale who were available to me through the school.”
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2014 College of DuPage