We’re pleased to introduce Matthew VanDemark – our new Student Services Coordinator – in this next addition of Faces of GPS. Read below to learn more about Matthew and his position at GPS!
Get to know Matthew!
Q: What are some fun facts about you?
In my free time, I like to play video games, hang out with friends, and try new restaurants, among other hobbies. I also practice violin and compose music for fun–I am currently looking for opportunities to perform in the Boston area.
Q: Could you tell us a bit about your background?
I’m from a suburb outside of Rochester, NY in Upstate New York. I spent my undergraduate years at Syracuse University, where I obtained a Bachelor of Music (BM) in Music Industry with Performance Honors. I also completed minors in Business Marketing and Music History & Culture.
This was the first major step in my career. The foundations of my skills and passion for higher education began here. On top of my academics, I also held leadership positions in Student Association, Alpha Phi Omega, and the Society for Collegiate Leadership & Achievement (SCLA). Additionally, I also worked in Food Services, the Law Library, among many other functions of the University and an outside retail job. I also studied abroad during my sophomore spring semester in France.
I continued to study at Syracuse after undergrad, completing a MA in Audio Arts. Afterwards, I took all of my skills and abilities and brought them to Boston, the “epicenter of higher education,” and built a larger network of international professionals across varying industries at the Hult International School of Business, where I earned both a MSc/MIB in International Business and a MSc in International Marketing. I have remained a resident of the Greater Boston area ever since.
Q: What inspired you to work at GPS?
Brandeis is not only a recognized institution of higher education but builds its community through a personalized approach (low teacher/student ratios) and nurtures students in unparalleled ways. My calling was apparent when I researched and applied for my current position at GPS, a respected and hardworking community.
Q: What are the responsibilities of your role at GPS?
My top three responsibilities in my role as the Student Services Coordinator are: Advising students, handling/coordinating financials, and providing support to other departments in GPS. With my team, I assist with inquiries on the financial aid process, am a middle-person on academic challenges students face, and also participate in events that welcome newly admitted students and prospective (interested) students to our programming.
Q: What excites you the most about your new position at GPS? What are you most looking forward to?
Working with students on their academic development is very exciting to me–as I’ve been in several graduate programs, I understand the importance academia is at this level, and I know what resources play a crucial role in student success. Additionally, I understand the frustrations of the financial aid and payment process–easing the process and being a voice of confidence for students is something I take pride in. I am looking forward to being a part of a team that takes feedback from students seriously, makes changes to keep programming up-to-date, and keeps community members engaged with each other and with GPS even after they graduate from their respective programs.
To connect with Matthew or any other member of the GPS advising team, please visit our Advising page.
Faces of GPS is an occasional series that profiles Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies students, faculty and staff. Read more Faces of GPS stories.