Matthew HilesMajors – Accounting and Economics

Featured Activity – Study Abroad in Shanghai

Hometown – Kittanning, PA

I am originally from Kittanning, Pennsylvania. I chose IUP and Eberly for a wide variety of reasons including the fact that my mother also received her undergraduate degree in accounting at IUP. Moreover, having the opportunity to be a part of the prestigious Cook Honors College as well as the Eberly Business Honors program certainly influenced my decision. Through my time at the university, I have had the pleasure of meeting and befriending numerous people who have both challenged my perspectives as well as served as invaluable resources.

The summer of my freshman year, I was able to study abroad in Shanghai, China; this experience allowed for expanded horizons and a more worldly perspective. Moreover, that trip assisted in opening countless other avenues that have greatly enriched my life and experience at IUP. For example, through my use of the Honors College Achievement fund to help finance my international education, I was also selected to be a student speaker at the Grand Re-opening of Whitmyre Hall and celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first graduating class of the honors college. It meant a great deal to me to be chosen to represent the students at the Honors College. 

While I didn't know it at the time, this would also allow me to have a much greater representational role. Namely, my public speaking experience for this event, was a critical factor in being chosen to speak at the IUP Commencement ceremony, to and on behalf of my entire graduating class, about the senior class gift. This opportunity serves as a reminder of all that I have been through to make it to the present-moment and a great source of pride and honor that I will take forward in my future.