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OHIO Southern student designs degree that fits his interests

There are many degree programs at Ohio University Southern that students can choose from, but what happens when none of them feel like the perfect fit?

The Bachelor of Specialized Studies degree allows students to create an individualized, multidisciplinary degree tailored to their individual interests and needs – and that’s exactly what graduate Matthew Lewis did.

Lewis decided to combine mathematics and English as his areas of concentration, which was a challenge. 

“One time I took three advanced math classes at the same time. Please don’t do that,” he warned, saying after speaking with his advisor, he decided to take some incompletes and make the classes up over semester break.

“I came out on the other side less stressed, stronger, and conquering. Never be afraid to ask for help, trust me,” he said. In addition to his advisor, Lewis said Dr. Walt Mayo, Dr. Yehong Shao and Dr. Hayley Haugen made a large impact on his life and education.

“They have gone above and beyond to ensure that I was successful as a student and have often humored my enthusiastic personality,” Lewis said.

Lewis shared a few of his favorite memories from Ohio University Southern.

“First, the day I discovered I could make a BBQ chicken pizza at the little diner we used to have. That was wonderful. Second, the morning I spent with fellow students studying intensely for a Discrete Math class hoping we’d pass. And third, the day I helped proctor two exams and everything about it just felt right – like this was a milestone in my life revealing my purpose,” he said.

For students who are just getting started, Lewis had a piece of advice.

“You are paying an awful lot for your classes. Don’t miss them,” he said. Lewis also encouraged students to explore the campus. “Don’t be afraid to enjoy the unsung treasures of the campus, like the little walled garden near the main office.”

After graduation, Lewis plans to continue his education through seminary training.

Lewis is Ohio University Southern’s 2023 Bachelor of Specialized Studies Outstanding Graduate. Outstanding Graduates are nominated by faculty for their scholarly or professional accomplishments, participation in university activities, community service and more.

May 5, 2023
Staff reports