Welcome to the College, Dr. Matt Peck

Dr. Matt Peck poses for a photo.
Matt Peck poses for a photo on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Pullman. (College of Veterinary Medicine/Ted S. Warren)

Matt Peck took an alternative path to end up as a professor at WSU. He spent time characterizing translation initiation factors at Stanford University, 13 years teaching high school in four states, four years doing research in plant biochemistry at the University of Oklahoma, a year of stay-at-home parenting, and one year designing curriculum and editing manuscripts before arriving as a coordinator at WSU in 2020. This semester, as an assistant professor in the Paul G. Allen School for Global Health, Dr. Peck will engage in graduate education and assist with NIH training grant applications, pursue supplemental grants for training programs, and work with programs and leaders across WSU to define new areas of potential grant support.

What drew you to WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine?

Pullman’s natural beauty, WSU’s excellence, and better proximity to extended family drew us here. I love working with the College of Veterinary Medicine because of its intentional and industrious efforts to build teams that work hard to support individual and community growth.

What is your area of expertise?

My areas of expertise include teaching, facilitation, curriculum design, mentorship, and scientific communication. I try to meld research experiences with teaching interests to promote inclusive mentoring and teaching ecosystems that also support WSU’s research missions.

What drew you into this area?

I went to graduate school to become a college professor largely due to the influences of some excellent professors at Swarthmore College. After doing some extra teaching in graduate school, and while waiting for my partner to finish her degree, I got hooked on full-time teaching in common education settings. David Askey, a colleague who just retired after 37 years of teaching high school, is one of my most influential mentors. He showed me how to let the students take more charge of their learning. Through empirical experience and some book learning, I have tried to develop a tool kit that lets me borrow from Askey and other great teachers I’ve encountered to help colleagues and mentees to “choose their own adventures.”

What has you most excited about your research?

I’m excited to continue to implement best practices from new research and shared educational experiences to enhance the higher education ecosystem. I want to help researchers connect with colleagues, be supported as mentors and mentees, and build a scientific identity that helps them set and reach their research and career goals. It’s an exciting combination of new frontier and old hat familiarity. 

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I was the president of my children’s Parent-Teacher Association for two years in Oklahoma.