Matthew Gretz knew Xavier was the school for him.
Small class sizes, the Jesuit philosophy and the intrigue of studying people and their behaviors all made him want to come to campus. Little did he know, the University would only expand his interests.
"I first declared Psychology as my major because I wanted to study people and the complexity of the human situation," says the 21-year-old junior from Oxford, Ohio.
"After taking various psychology courses, I realized that my interests were already of a philosophical nature. I decided to add a philosophy minor, just so I could take Metaphysics, and then decided to declare Philosophy as my second major. I have found that psychology and philosophy complement each other well and make for great intellectual challenges."
And the experience is paying off. Gretz, now a psychology and philosophy double major, serves as the Student Archivist Associate in the University Archives, and (with his mentors) helps come up with projects for the library. He currently has one running through the end of the semester on the history of the Musketeer.
But he also finds time to participate in the Xavier University Concert Choir, Xavier University Chamber Orchestra and Xavier University Men's Chorus.
But for Gretz, his Xavier experience has been made by his professors.
"My college experience qualitatively would not be the same without the guidance and impact of Dr. Tammy Sonnentag of the School of Psychology," he says.
"I recently traveled to California to present research with Dr. Sonnentag, a truly influential and unbelievable experience. She has helped guide my own academic pursuits and challenged me to meaningfully apply my course material and experience toward research. I have discovered a passion for conducting psychological research, a passion directly influenced by working with Dr. Sonnentag."
Dr. Timothy Quinn, professor of philosophy, also greatly impacted his undergraduate education.
"After studying metaphysics with Dr. Quinn I came to realize that philosophy never stops," he says.
"I asked Dr. Quinn if I could continue reading with him outside of class. I studied philosophy with Dr. Quinn throughout the previous year and am looking forward to our readings and discussions this semester. The opportunity to pursue my philosophical interests with Dr. Quinn has been a gift. Our discussions and readings have enriched my overall education at Xavier and have been formative in my undergraduate experience."
Gretz knows college can be stressful. Luckily, Xavier has an outlet.
"Bellarmine Chapel is quiet, a place where I could clearly think amidst the busyness," he says. "My view of college has remained consistent: that college is not just a checklist of classes and lettered grades, but rather the extent to which an individual is willing to be changed by an ever-moving body of knowledge."