Matthew, a student in our Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation, was inspired to become a nurse because of nursing’s focus on holistic care of the individual and its historical receptiveness to innovation in personalized care, which he sees as necessary in the treatment of mental illness, after spending time as a volunteer for several theatre therapy programs.
As a member of the lab, he is currently working on several projects, including the development of a digital toolkit for nurses to aid in the diagnosis and management of PTSD (funded by the American Nurses’ Foundation), a study tracking the physiological markers of the mentally ill, a study on the markers of stress, and the development of an mobile app to treat anxiety disorders in international students.
Drawing on his prior and current experience, his ultimate goal is the integration of therapeutic elements into existing media (such as mainstream video games and television shows) in order to facilitate preventative care in mental health.
Matthew was raised in Cerritos, Calif. and received a BA in Theatre from the University of Southern California. His undergraduate coursework included a concentration in Drama Therapy, as well as being involved with programs on Multimedia Scholarship and Interactive Media (game design).
While in college, he worked with USC’s Center for Public Diplomacy and Center for Scholarly Technology, coordinating the university’s Second Life presence, and working with the MarArthur Foundation to explore how Virtual Worlds could be used for the Public Good, as well as researching the unique cultures of online worlds, and how they were shaped through the confluences of technological limitations, (offline) cultural norms and expectations, and anonymity.
After graduating, he worked for a number of years as a freelance game designer, and later as a Community Manager for JManga, a digital media initiative of (Japanese) Digital Comics Association.