Meet Our Graduate Students - Matthew Gonzalez - Following the Path Into Academia
Are you a first-generation college student? If so, please share with us what motivated you to pursue a college degree.
I am a first-generation college student. My parents have always taught me the value of education and encouraged me to go to college so that I can make a better life for myself. Their love and support have helped me get this far, and I cannot thank them enough for it.
What attracted you to the UTEP Department of Kinesiology?
I have always been interested in strength and conditioning as well as human performance, so the Department of Kinesiology here at UTEP seemed to be a perfect place to learn.
Why did you decide to continue your education past the undergraduate level and pursue a master’s degree in Kinesiology?
During my undergraduate work, I was able to learn about the research process and I really enjoyed it; therefore, I decided to pursue a career as a researcher in academia and a master’s degree was the next step in achieving that goal.
How did you first become involved in research?
During my undergraduate degree, I was curious about research, so I reached out to Dr. Sandor Dorgo. He took the time to not only explain the research process, but he also allowed me to get hands-on practice collecting data. I really enjoyed the experience and have been conducting research with Dr. Dorgo ever since.
What areas of research are you currently exploring?
I am currently looking into the acute effects of manual resistance. Manual resistance is an alternative form of exercise in which, instead of using barbells, dumbbells, machines, etc., exercises are replicated using resistance applied by a partner.
Tell us about your most memorable experience as a research assistant in the Fitness Research Facility.
My most memorable experience as a member of the Fitness Research Facility was being allowed the opportunity to attend and present at the National Strength and Conditioning Association National Conference in Washington, D.C. That was my first trip to Washington. I had the opportunity to not only present my research at a national conference to some of the leading researchers in the area of strength and conditioning, but also to visit many of the national monuments while I was there.
How has your graduate education in Kinesiology prepared you for your future career?
My graduate education has given me the knowledge and tools needed to be able to conduct research. This will help me as I begin the Interdisciplinary Health Science PhD program this coming fall semester and, in the future, when I begin my career in academia.
What would you tell a prospective student who is thinking about pursuing a graduate degree in Kinesiology?
The best advice I could give a student who is interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Kinesiology is to reach out to the professors and ask questions. They are always willing to make time to answer any questions and give you any assistance that you may need.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Gonzalez