Undergraduate Research Mentor Award

2017 Arts & Humanities Recipient: Beverly Matiko (English)


Student Comments

"I have had a lot of important mentors throughout my education, but Dr. Matiko has undoubtedly had the most impact. I have had the honor of taking more classes from Dr. Matiko than any other professor, including the first class of my college career, and – in her supervision of my Honors thesis – the last. Through all of them, she was always a joy to work with: brilliant yet approachable, encouraging yet always spurring me on to greater things. Dr. Matiko became my research advisor because my Honors thesis grew out of a paper I wrote for her Virginia Woolf Seminar; she generously aided me every step of the way from that first short paper forward. When I had to apply for the Undergraduate Research Scholarship, she took time on an incredibly busy day – graduation! – to help me build my application from scratch. During the summer she met with me once a week to check my progress, talking through my discoveries and struggles and even occasionally buying me lunch. I’m very self-motivated, but Dr. Matiko made me want to succeed not just out of fear of failure but also out of a desire to share my discoveries with her. She would get excited about what I was doing, and that helped me stay excited about my work, even when I was exhausted or frustrated. I’ve never known a professor as calming and encouraging; she doesn’t skimp on praise, but exclaims over the brilliance of my work while subtly pointing out the different ways that I could improve. Even after I finished my thesis and graduated, Dr. Matiko has remained a treasured mentor and dear friend: writing me recommendations for both my MA and PhD applications, sending me care packages and Christmas cards, and sharing hours of conversation of tea or lunch when I’m in the area to visit. Academia can be an unforgiving and taxing place, but in the occasionally harsh seas of my career, Dr. Matiko remains a lighthouse."

"I took Voice and Diction from Dr. Matiko during my sophomore year at Andrews. Of all the classes I had in college, that is probably the class I most looked forward to attending each week and the homework I most enjoyed doing. It was in this class that I learned to love the spoken word as a medium for art. This led to two significant things in my life (at least, two that I'm aware of): (1) I decided to host a Valentine's Day Reading event, which eventually morphed into a monthly poetry and prose night in the Rec Center Amphitheater. Other students repeatedly told me how much this little gathering meant to them, and I know how much organizing it meant to me. (2) While planning a rather typical research paper for my Honors thesis, it was Dr. Matiko who pulled me aside and hinted that I might do something rather non-traditional for my project. And it was Dr. Matiko who then advised me through the process of researching, scripting, and directing a Reader’s Theater production of C. S. Lewis’s “The Great Divorce” instead. This, to me, was far more than a fulfillment of some academic requirement; to this day, it's one of my favorite things I've ever done. For Dr. Matiko’s wonder-inspiring teaching, her special and attentive care to her students’ areas of interest, and her eternally kind and encouraging advisement, I'd say this award is right where it should be."