People of Whitewater: Chris Mathews
February 1, 2017
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Freshman journalism major Chris Mathews has found that sometimes, the stars aren’t the limit for success, but can actually be just the start.
Mathews presented at the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) career showcase in Raleigh, North Carolina. He told his story about being a student with a disability. After his speech a girl in the seventh grade told him that she was going to go to space camp after hearing his story, which was very rewarding for him since space camp held a special place in his heart.
He went to space camp in Alabama for the first time in seventh grade with a group of classmates. There, he lived out his childhood dream of being an astronaut.
“It was essentially a week of astronaut training at a NASA level,” Mathews said.
At the end of the week, he and the students participated in an immersive flight simulator. His role was a mission specialist. He sat in a chair that simulated zero gravity and helped lead the team during their flight.
Chris also holds the unique experience of having graduated twice in 24 hours.
He pulled off this feat by attending two different schools during his high school career. In the mornings, he would attend the Wisconsin school for the blind and visually impaired in Janesville and then would attend Janesville Parker public high school in the afternoon.
He graduated with a class of a few hundred students at the public school and the following morning he graduated with a class of seven.
“It was so weird to be part of not only two different ceremonies’ but also two different contexts. One I was just kind of another name on a list and the other I was a bigger part of the graduation ceremony. That made me proud because I was able to represent our class and
it was fun,” Mathews said.
He also has ambitions for his journalistic career. He has tried his hand at a blog titled ‘How I See It’ and a Youtube channel, but would like to start a podcast in the near future.
His decision to become a journalism major was spurred after a school trip to Washington DC where he interviewed politicians including Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, and briefly met Senator Tammy Baldwin.
Mathews was impressed to find that while in Washington DC he was asked several times what university he and his group were from and would chuckle and tell them he was only a junior in high school at the time.
At the end of the trip, he had to write an opinion piece about the experience and it was then published to the local newspaper. It was then he found his love for journalistic writing and began looking into colleges. He toured Whitewater and knew it was home.
For his future career, Mathews would love to work as a radio news host and persue his passion for radio. He has had quite a few adventures throughout his life and plenty of experience to jot down on a resume, but he is confident there are only better things to come.