Student Spotlight: Matthew Kinsley
Matthew Kinsley’s interest in math came from his parents – his mom is an accountant and his dad a mechanical engineer.
“They pushed me to work hard in math and helped me join the advanced math program during elementary school,” he said.
His success in math continued through middle school and into high school. However, during his junior year, Kinsley felt overwhelmed by his class load and withdrew from the honors trigonometry and pre-calculus course. This meant he was unable to take calculus during his senior year.
“It was an absolutely massive hit to my academic self-confidence,” he said. “Math had always been a subject that I felt confident in. But after withdrawing from the advanced math track, I felt like a failure until I got to calculus in college. Luckily I had some amazing professors who were able to help me recapture my love for math.”
Kinsley selected College of DuPage for a variety of reasons. He earned a Presidential Scholarship, a full-tuition award that meant he could transfer to a four-year university as a junior without debt. He also wasn’t ready to leave home.
“As a senior in high school, I thought more and more about going away to a four-year university and it honestly terrified me,” he said. “I don’t believe I was emotionally or mentally mature enough to handle going away to college at that point in my life.”
At College of DuPage, Kinsley decided to major in biology in hopes of attending veterinary school. However, after his third semester, he re-discovered his love of math during his Calculus I, Calculus II and statistics classes and enjoyed them more than biology and chemistry.
While at COD, Kinsley was nominated for the All-USA Academic Team and was recognized at a banquet in Springfield. He was the service coordinator for the Phi Beta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society and organized five bone marrow registry drives, during which 100 students signed up to help a COD alumni diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a potentially fatal disease.
Kinsley is now at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing a double major in Mathematics, with a concentration in Applied Mathematics, and Economics. He is the treasurer of the math club, M.A.T.R.I.X. (Mathematical Advancement Through Research and Idea Exchange), and is a member of Tau Sigma, the transfer student honors society. He also is an undergraduate teaching assistant.
“I know that I want to further my education and do everything in my power to grow intellectually, and I could potentially see myself long-term becoming a Calculus professor at a community college,” he said. “I believe it would be incredibly rewarding if I could offer students the same experience that I had with my amazing professors at College of DuPage, specifically Erica Hotsinpiller, Michael Stack and Caroline Soo, who were able to rekindle my lost love for math.”
Kinsley is more than happy with his selection of College of DuPage.
“Picking a major can be incredibly difficult, and it is rare to find someone who knows what they want to do for the rest of their life as a freshman in college,” he said. “At a four-year university, some students feel stuck with their initial choice of major because it would be too expensive to start a new degree. But College of DuPage gives you an opportunity to change your path if you are not satisfied with your current academic direction.
“Through amazing professors and advisors, I reached all of my educational and personal goals thus far, which has positioned me for long-term success in my career. COD acts as a springboard to both four-year universities and the workforce. The small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from your professors and to interact daily with your classmates. Also, the fantastic academic resources for students, including the Learning Commons and the Math Assistance Center, are included in your tuition and help you succeed in your classes.”
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137
(630) 942-2800 (Main)
(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)
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