Jason Matthews loves teaching. If he had his druthers, he'd be a fulltime college professor--but he thoroughly enjoys his career as a public relations professional.
Matthews, a Bismarck-based PR person with a penchant for politics, says learning is fun. This is why working with OLLI students is such a blast!
"I've taught several OLLI classes--for sure it's the OLLI students who keep me coming back," says Matthews, who has taught OLLI classes about American presidential politics, the end of the Cold War, and, next fall, a course about "underappreciated" presidents.
Matthews, who grew up in Garrison, N.D., says the folks who do take OLLI courses are in a class by themselves. So what sets them apart?
"They have a hunger to learn," says Matthews, a 2001 UND alum with a degree in political science. "Many are retired, but they are lifelong learners with a desire and an interest to learn more--they really want to be there. That's very refreshing!"
Matthews recalls that in one of his first OLLI classes--the subject was the politics of the U.S. Supreme Court--his students included a sitting N.D. Supreme Court justice and her husband, a well-known trial lawyer; a retired district judge; and a former FBI agent.
Matthews quips that he came to that class at the top of his game.
"What I see in these classes is that the students take advantage of every learning opportunity," he says.