staff

Matt Smith

Admissions Counselor
805-565-6004

Office Location

Office of Admissions, Kerrwood Hall

Biography/Details

Hometown: Newport Beach, Calif.

College Attended: Westmont College, ‘21

Degree: B.A. in Religious Studies

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Favorite Aspect of Westmont: One of my favorite aspects of Westmont is the way that my education has pushed me to see that my own academic growth is intimately linked with my own personal and spiritual growth. I am grateful to have professors that not only pushed me intellectually, but would also take time to sit and pray with me, focus on character and personal development and help me to see how my work fits into the larger context of faith in the Kingdom of God. My professors and peers have both reminded me to not simply seek to be informed, but to go on the deeper journey of transformation into a person of character and love. I love Westmont not simply because of what I have learned over the past few years, but because how Westmont has shaped me into a very different person than who I was when I entered. Westmont is an incredible place to learn widely, be formed deeply and leave with a greater sense of vision and direction for life after graduation.

Favorite Westmont memory: Some of my favorite Westmont memories all center around getting to worship musically together as a community. I remember leaving the DC as a freshman and before going to my next class, joining a few friends in the prayer chapel to spend some time in worship together. These moments led to some incredible conversations and friendships that have shaped my time at Westmont. I had the chance to join Westmont’s chapel band my sophomore year and it quickly became a true source of joy for me to be involved. I would walk down to the gym for the early morning rehearsals, getting to watch the sunrise and simply feeling grateful to get to serve musically with people that I love. From being involved with chapel over the past few years to getting to go abroad and worship with people in a Coptic monastery outside of Cairo, Egypt, although worship has taken many different forms in different seasons, it has been a consistent part of my time at Westmont. I have grown to love and deeply appreciate the ways that the Westmont community prioritizes times of centering around the Lord even in the midst of busy schedules and I hope to carry this posture with me as I move forward.

Favorite Place on Campus: This may be a surprise, but my answer is actually the library. I love reading so the library is a clear choice for me. But secondly, the library has been a place to connect with people throughout the day. Most Westmont students will tell you that the library is a place to work, but it is also a place to see your friends all together and enjoy the time to connect. I always loved getting to see what my friends were working on and better understand what excited them. The library was a place to see the many different interests, majors and passions represented in the student body and celebrate each one. Part of the beauty of Westmont is the way that each individual finds a path that is unique to them and their interests, and an aspect of a liberal arts education is being able to learn from and be sharpened by each of these different perspectives. Conversations with my peers and close friends in the library was a clear way that I got to learn and benefit from being a student in the Westmont community. The library also has beautiful views if you walk outside!

Why do you work at Westmont?: My time at Westmont is a gift that I am incredibly grateful for. I feel so lucky to have been a part of this community and know that I share this same gratitude with many others. Getting to work at Westmont, I have the privilege of sharing this gift with other people. Having the opportunity to step alongside students in the college application and decision process is such a joy as I get to witness them (you all!) dream about the future and find ways to turn that dream into something real, hopefully at Westmont! Beyond the admissions process, I have grown to love and admire Westmont’s mission of seeking Christ’s kingdom first. I feel very lucky to work at an institution marked by its Christian faith and am excited about the opportunity to continue to learn from this community about what it means to integrate my faith in my own intellectual, professional and personal pursuits.

Hobbies: There are a few things I do most days that may give you a better picture of the hobbies love. I love early mornings and getting to sit with a good cup of coffee in the quiet before the day actually starts. Oftentimes, I will grab a book as well. I probably read too many books on theology and faith, so I am working to read more outside of these categories (always open to suggestions!). I also love music and have been playing guitar for most of my life. When I am not doing any of these things, you will probably find me at the beach, on a bike ride or spending time outside with my friends. Santa Barbara is an amazing place to keep you active and always wanting to be outdoors. I feel very lucky to have a great group of friends around me here in Santa Barbara and love getting to do life with all of them!