Military, Media, and Mariners

Published: January 27, 2015

With his billowing voice, a bristling beard, and unique life experience, Matthew Fieser is a hard student to miss around the UW Bothell campus and in the classroom. “I chose UW Bothell because I didn’t want to be just a face in the crowd” explains Fieser. “I like the intimacy of the smaller class sizes.”

From a young age, Matthew Fieser’s dream was to join the military. After the tragic events that took place on 9/11, Fieser finished his quarter at Cascadia College, packed his bags, and joined the army. Fieser is quick to explain that joining the army was never about the recognition, but about fulfilling the legacy of the people that served before him.

After nearly ten and a half years and 2 active combat deployments in Iraq, Fieser decided to transition from staff sergeant to college student. UW Bothell works hard to meet the needs of our Veterans. We offer many programs to help facilitate the change from soldier to civilian, including a veteran’s class which was taught by Chancellor Yeigh in the fall 2014 quarter.

“Transitioning was definitely a lot harder than I thought it would be: in the military you are taught to never quit and never give up.” Fieser explains. “It’s the same thing with transitioning, except it’s a lot more difficult than you would think. In the military there are manuals, rules, and regulations for everything… “At school, a professor can give you a 5-10 page paper to write and the tools to make it happen, but the rest is up to you.”

Fieser is a junior at UW Bothell and plans to graduate with a degree in Media and Communications. What’s next for him? This is where his military ‘never quit’ training comes into play. “My dream job would be to run the social media team for the Mariners or be on their public relations team. Basically, I won’t stop until I’m hanging out with Felix Hernandez.”

Fieser strongly encourages all veterans to pursue higher education, “You don’t get a shiny badge but you get a shiny degree.” He goes on to say, “Just because you put down your rifle doesn’t mean you are done fighting for America or fighting for your culture and the way that we live.”