Mission Accomplished: McNair Graduate Matt Larson ’07 Completes PhD, a First for SHU-Based Program
Matt Larson ’07 was the first, and hopefully, not the last. The graduate of the McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program was the first Siena Heights University student to receive his doctorate since the program was instituted on the SHU campus.
Larson, who finished his dissertation and earned a PhD in criminology and criminal justice from Arizona State University last spring, is currently an assistant professor in the College of Public Health and Social Justice at St. Louis University.
“When I started at Siena I had no clue that I would go on to graduate school,” said Larson, a first-generation college student. “I was just thrilled to be pursuing my bachelor’s degree.”
In fact, Larson was perfectly content running on the track team and taking criminal justice courses until he discovered McNair, a federally funded program designed to encourage eligible students to pursue graduate studies leading to the completion of a doctoral degree.
“I found out about the McNair program at about the same time I started to fall out of love with running and in love with academics,” Larson said. “I knew at that point that graduate school was one of my options, so applying was a no-brainer.”