June 4, 2020

David Mathis narrative: a life of change and opportunities


This archived article was written by: Rachel Prows

A beard, flannel shirt and boots is what David Mathis was planning on wearing to work everyday when he was younger, but over the years, his work attire changed to a collared shirt khakis and dress shoes.
Born in Maryland and living in Virginia until he was 23, Mathis enjoyed playing lacrosse and taking trips to Price where his father grew up. Growing up in the suburbs of D.C., it was nice for him to get away from the city and curl up with his cousins on the trampoline staring at the stars surrounded by mountains and wilderness.
At nine, Mathis was set on being a lumberjack. He thought that the hard work during the day would help him fall asleep easily each night, but his attention was then stolen by video games until 15. Mathis won and lost many battles in these years, but decided he needed to do something else with his life.
Making plans to go to college to become an architect or engineer, Mathis took three years of drafting in high school in preparation for this potential career. Enjoying the years after high school that he spent working as a drafter, he realized that he no longer wanted to pursue this plan. Mathis decided he was going to give computer science and digital animation a try. After one semester of prerequisite classes for computer science, that plan was flushed down the toilet as well.
Knowing that he couldn’t go back to his original plan or put his well-earned video game skills to use, Mathis decided to evaluate what he had done with his life so far. “While I was considering what else to study, my previous job as a drafter stuck out to me as I was able to do some basic graphic design, website design and other marketing-related tasks at that job as well.”
Mathis continues, “I enjoyed writing as well as photography and graphic design, and thought marketing might be a good fit as it allows for all of those. I began taking the pre-req courses for the marketing and advertising degree and finished at Brigham Young University in that degree.”
Working at a company in Provo for nine years, Mathis decided that he would seek employment elsewhere.“My parents retired and moved from D.C. to Price two years ago, and one day I had a thought to check job openings at the [USU Eastern] university and there was an opening for a job that was a great fit for me. The job is a great opportunity and I also plan on starting the MBA program at USU in January.”
When he isn’t watching Game of Thrones with his favorite apple beer from the cafeteria, Mathis is busy recruiting new students for USU Eastern in Price, Blanding and the Moab regional campus. With his primary responsibility being to attract full-and part-time students to all of the degree programs at all of these campuses, he also helps with other campus activities such as athletics, community relations and student activities.
“I’ve only been here four months, so I can’t claim any big innovations yet,” Mathis states, “but one of the changes that comes with my position (not necessarily me) is access to resources in Logan that were not as easily accessible to USU Eastern before. It’s also been a while (I’m not sure how long) since there has been a dedicated marketing position for USU Eastern, so I’m bringing a renewed focus to the specific needs and qualities of USU Eastern.”
Mathis is planning on accomplishing this with, “some hard work and by getting to know as many people on campus as possible to develop good working relationships with everyone.”
Mathis said, “I’d also like to work with the different groups on campus, especially on the academic side, to work on developing a uniform message that focuses on USU Eastern’s strength’s in order to attract new students. That sounds like a lot of business jargon, but I believe it is important. I want to make it easy for potential students to see the benefit of attending USU Eastern and that will involve everyone on campus, faculty, staff and students.”
With lots to do for not only the Price campus, but the Blanding and Moab regional, Mathis loves sitting down at the table for a nice big plate of spaghetti. Pressing play on his favorite, most recently downloaded song, “Style,” by Taylor Swift, he thinks about how he is thankful that he has a job that lets him dress nice in his favorite color, blue, and keeps him busy.
Even though he would rather be sitting around a campfire with friends, Mathis says, “It’s nice to work for something you believe in. I believe that furthering your education or training is always a wise choice and think the opportunities that USU is providing statewide are genuinely cool. A university that offers everything from career and technical training to doctorate degrees, and all in a smaller community like Price, is a cool place to work, in my opinion. Plus I honestly like eating in the cafeteria for lunch. Instead of a daily debate about where to go and what to have for lunch, I just show up to the cafeteria and Gillan [Bishop] has me covered.”
Mathis realizes that he can’t do his job effectively without the students here, so he advises, “Go to activities and go to games. I promise you’ll have a lot more fun if activities are packed and the seats are full at games. Help make USU Eastern a place you love to be, in and out of class. And tell all your friends.”
Even though his childhood dream of growing a beard and dressing in the same flannel shirts that “hipsters” seem to wear a lot of, Mathis is pleased with the job that he recently obtained at the best (and only) college in Price, Utah. Mathis is meant to be here doing marketing for the school and leaving his dream of becoming a well-dressed lumberjack in the past.

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