Matt Petkun ’98 likes making difficult choices between good options. But when he decided to pursue his college career at Westmont instead of a large university like Harvard (where his parents attended graduate school), he wasn’t convinced he had made the right decision—until he got here.
“I was placed in a great section my first year: Clark E. It was filled with guys who wanted to work hard in school, do their best, and have fun doing it,” Matt recalls. “I knew then that God wanted me here at Westmont.”
Matt’s close relationship with his pastor in Portland, Oregon, inspired him to major in religious studies and prepare to become a pastor himself. He has enjoyed his coursework and has also “fallen in love with history.”
In fact, he added history as his second major this fall and is considering further work in this field, noting, “Sometimes, God wants you to take the more difficult path. It would be easy for me to go to seminary and become a pastor—I like working with children and adults. But right now I feel called to go to graduate school in history.”
On the basis of his grades and recommendations from his professors, Matt earned one of the two Faculty Fellowships awarded in the humanities division this year. He has served as a teaching assistant for history professor Marianne Ruel Robins this fall and will do the same for the religious studies department in the spring.
“I’ve made my academic commitments my priority, but I’ve also participated in Potter’s Clay, Juntos, and anywhere else I can help,” Matt says. As a senior next year, he hopes to be a resident assistant.