Senior Spotlight: Matthew Winburn

By Emily Schmidt
University Communications Student Assistant

MINOT, N.D. – Matthew Winburn paved his own path throughout his college career.

The Minot native chose Minot State because it made sense; it was cost-effective, and had high acceptance rates to medical school. However, medical school is not where Winburn is headed anymore.

“When I started at Minot State, I was actually pre-med with a double major in general chemistry and music performance,” he said. “At the beginning of my second year, I decided that I hated the idea of going pre-med, mainly because I did not like my biology classes, so I switched to professional chemistry, which has more of a focus on going to graduate school after and kept the music performance.”

After two years, Winburn realized he needed another change.

“I changed my mind again somewhere in my fourth year because the music major had lost the original joy it gave me,” he said. “It felt like a chore, so I worked with my advisors, switched to a music minor which I had already completed, kept the professional chemistry, and now I'm here.”

While the path to graduation may not have been steady, Winburn’s focus to better himself was.

“The things that made my time here worthwhile were the things I put the time into and really did for myself,” he said. “I think Minot State has an excellent way of giving you what you put into it.”

Along with his professional chemistry major, music minor, and physical science concentration, Winburn graduated as the president of the science club, through which he gave weekly presentations about the fun side of science to elementary and middle school students.

“The time and effort I put into the science club, along with the help of the other officers and our advisors, was the number one thing that made me the chemist I am and helped me get into graduate school,” he said. “I don't think that I would have gotten as much out of it had I not been the one that was putting in the time behind the scenes too.”

After marrying his fiancé this summer, whom he met at Minot State, Winburn will pursue his Ph. D. in chemistry from the University of Nebraska, and like his undergraduate career, it will help him further his independent studies and research in chemistry.

“It can seem like all of my motivation is coming from me, and a large part has to in order to maintain success,” he said. “For me, my internal motivation comes from wanting to be better. There’s a fancy quote from Kingsmen, love that movie, about it being more noble to be better than your former self than to be better than your neighbor.”

Although Winburn did pave his own path, he was not alone along the journey.

“The rest of the motivation comes from my family and my fiancé. They encourage me to follow me heart and to work hard. I work hard because I love what I do and the people around me encourage me to do what I love and support me on that path. I couldn't do it without them.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 06/01/20   

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