As a teacher, I will be put in a position to not only teach students how to think about the natural world, but also to have a greater impact on their lives.”
As a child, Matthew McCollum would turn his kitchen into a laboratory and perform what his parents called “simple science experiments.” It was not uncommon to find him combing his backyard for interesting rocks to put under a microscope or freezing plastic containers of water until they burst at the seams. His parents fostered this curiosity, and he credits their love and support for fueling his passion for gaining and sharing knowledge.
After graduating from McNary High School in Keizer, Ore., Matthew enrolled in Linfield College to study physics. He substitute taught and coached the North Salem High School men’s basketball team. As a coach, he saw great developments in his players. “After two summers of research and much thought, I realized I wanted to pursue a career where I could work with people more directly. I believe teachers are put in a position to directly influence people’s lives.”
Matthew graduated from Linfield College with a BS in physics. As an undergraduate, he was a member of both varsity basketball and baseball teams. As an educator: “I love the challenge of presenting knowledge in such a way that others will understand.”