Program Award Winner: Matthew Mast

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Each year, faculty in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) come together to select an outstanding student in their program to receive the honor of being named as their program award winner. Students selected for this award embody the very best of their program: they excel in their studies; they demonstrate leadership in classes and internships; and they have a genuine and tenacious passion for their discipline.

This year, faculty in the Recreation Management program have selected Matthew Mast as the recipient of the Thomas L. Goodale Award for the Outstanding Student in Recreation Management (Parks and Outdoor Recreation). Congratulations, Matthew!


Q & A with Outstanding Student in Recreation Management (Parks and Outdoor Recreation), Matthew Mast:

What academic accomplishment are most proud of? 

My internship is what I’m most proud of. It gave me chance to actually go out there and put what I’ve learned into action, and using the textbooks, notes, and knowledge that I’ve gathered with the guidance of all of the great faculty. 

What organizations/affiliations have you been involved with while at Mason? 

I was on the Mason Swim Club for 3 semesters and Rho Phi Lambda starting Junior year 

What are your plans after graduation?  

I’m working on applying for jobs right now, which is made a little more difficult due to the pandemic but I know I’ll find something I love soon. I’ve thought long and hard about what exactly I’d like to do, and I decided that finding anywhere that I can be responsible for getting youth into recreation opportunities that they might not have had without that organization, I will be happy. So, a pretty low bar for this field but that it honestly all I’ll need to make me happy (at least at first). 

What is your favorite memory in CEHD or your favorite part of being a CEHD student? 

My favorite memories of CEHD definitely has to be the time in my Outdoor Education class that I somehow managed to tip a canoe during a class excursion. The water was cold, but the professors we were with knew exactly what to do. It actually ended up being a great learning lesson on handling that type of situation. 

What advice do you have for current CEHD students? 

A million times: build relationships with the faculty. All of my instructors were either practitioners in the field or were very well acquainted with practitioners in the field. On multiple occasions, I either got to work or to class for my supervisor or instructor to tell me that they just had a conversation with the other about me. So, that conversation is what you make it because it’s going to happen! Luckily, the faculty in my school have been really easy to build genuine relationships with. 

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