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Kilpatrick Mentors 400 Students

Feb. 15, 2017


Academic advisor Matthew Kilpatrick mentors 400 undergraduate students, both traditional on-campus and online students, as if they are family members, for the College of Business. "Family was a big deal for me when I first came here, and it seemed like people genuinely cared about me like that," Matthew says of Austin Peay's College of Business.

Matthew extends the same feeling of family security to his students. He meets with many of these students, who are mostly management majors, in his office each week. At his office in Kimbrough, you find an inviting space with a painting of autumn trees behind Matthew's desk. He goes beyond advising. Matthew mentors the students. Matthew offers a cup of coffee. He listens attentively. You will find yourself immersed in detailed conversations about your life, your family, career aspirations, past jobs, and not to mention all of the information Matthew knows about the College of Business.

Matthew could lead tours for the College of Business at APSU. He graduated in 2010, took an assistantship during his graduate years. He not only earned one Master's in Professional Studies with Strategic Leadership as a focus, but he enjoyed being at Austin Peay and learning about the business and education within the business department so much that he earned a Master's of Science in Management as well.

 "I loved it so much that I couldn't leave," he says about APSU and laughs contentedly at the success he has enjoyed toward achieving his goals to stay at the University and help students find their way. "I come from a town with no stoplights," Matthew says of his background and ability to find both the benefits of the city and the feeling of a small town in the APSU community.

Matthew wanted to fulfill his ambitions for outreach, knowing his job enriches the lives of other people. "I also teach APSU 1000, so one of the most fulfilling things for me is to see a freshman that I've taught, and they stay through the business degree, and I see them at the graduation ceremony," Matthew says. He is genuinely and wholeheartedly stocked with information about the department and the extra-curricular activities in and around the department. His intellect and genuine interest quickly cause students to claim him as an ally for their college careers.

Matthew is a first-generation college graduate and his grandparents were his biggest supporters. For these reasons, Matthew understands the effort it takes many students to finally arrive at a graduation ceremony after years of hard work. "I understand the struggle that a lot of those kids go through. I almost cannot go through a graduation ceremony without getting emotional. There's just something about seeing them finish."

Matthew has mentored students who have gone to work for major accounting firms as well as students who found management positions after graduation. He tries to stay in contact with his former students as much as his current students, and the students who have graduated return to keep in touch with him. When you leave Matthew's office, you wonder, "How did I just spend one hour in there talking?" After some consideration, it's easy to understand why 400 students find a listening ear and a relaxing space to plan their academic future with Matthew Kilpatrick as their guide and mentor.

Matthew is available from 8 am - 4:30 pm Monday-Friday in Kimbrough 225.
Phone 931-221-1284. Email kilpatrickm@apsu.edu

---  By Shana Thornton, Thorncraft Publishing, www.thorncraftpublishing.com