Matthew Lustig is as diverse as the university he attends. From his studies in biology, to his commitment in UGA’s Army ROTC program and the Georgia Army National Guard, to his service with a homeless service agency and health clinic, and finally his involvement with UGA’s cheerleading squad and various music programs, Matthew is proud to be a part of the local university community.
Duluth HIgh School
B.S. in Biology, Minor in Military Science
University highlights, achievements and awards:
The summer after my freshman year, I went to nine weeks of Army Basic Training in Fort Sill, Okla., and then I followed-up with a six-week course in Field Artillery, being trained as a 13B cannon crewmember. Afterwards, I came back to UGA as a simultaneous member of the Army ROTC program and the Georgia Army National Guard. Concurrently, I volunteered at Athens PB&J and Mercy Health Clinic through connections with my fraternity, Beta Upsilon Chi.
That next summer, I studied abroad in Australia, which allowed me to study biology, immerse myself in a new culture and make some of the best friends I have at UGA. Upon returning, I tried out and made the UGA co-ed cheerleading team and performed for UGA football, men’s/women’s basketball, gymnastics and volleyball. Meanwhile, I played violin in the UGA Philharmonia Orchestra, taught CPR/AED/first aid classes for the American Red Cross and volunteered at Morningside Assisted Living, where I played classical guitar for the elderly residents. In Army ROTC, I received the USAA Spirit award for “best exemplifying the concept of service to the unit, community, and nation.” I also was iinducted into the Blue Key Honors Society and received the Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities Award through the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.
The following summer, I completed the Army’s four-week Leadership Development and Assessment Course in Fort Lewis, Wash., where I was graded under various leadership roles in realistic combat and garrison scenarios. Upon completion, I stayed in Fort Lewis in an internship with the Army Medical Department at Madigan Army Medical Center, where I got hands-on experience in family medicine, surgery, emergency medicine and internal medicine. After returning to Athens, I organized the Joshua Reeves Memorial 5K Run to honor the victims of 9/11 and support the Joshua Reeves Foundation, an organization that provides college funding to children who lost a family member in combat. During Christmas break, I traveled to Israel through the birthright program, which provided me the unique 10-day opportunity to learn more about my heritage, thousands of years of history and the country of Israel.
Currently, I am the public relations and fundraising representative for the Army ROTC programs at the University of Georgia, Gainesville State College and Georgia Gwinnett College; I am a personal trainer at Fitness@Five of Athens, and I am applying to medical school.
I am employed as an Army National Guardsman and as a personal trainer at Fitness@Five of Athens.
Family Ties to UGA:
My maternal grandmother, Harriette, is my only other family member to attend the university. She graduated in 1957 with a degree in Journalism.
I chose to attend UGA because...
I knew that I would have the most opportunities to involve myself in activities at UGA. Furthermore, Athens, is just a cool city, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the live music scene and beautiful campus.
My favorite things to do on campus are...
work out at Ramsey and morning runs through the campus.
When I have free time, I like...
to jam with my roommates. Most of my roommates also play an instrument, so whenever we are all available, we are very likely to play together.
The craziest thing I've done is...
While studying abroad in Australia, I chased after a white tip reef shark for 20 minutes while snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. Fortunately, he swam in a circle, so I was not too far off from my group.
My favorite place to study is...
definitely the SLC (Science Learning Center). There’s something about the competitiveness of finding a room that makes me study harder.
My favorite professor is...
Master Sergeant Stringer, the third-year Military Science instructor in the Army ROTC Department, because I have never had an instructor push me so hard to succeed. Whether I was leading a formation for a five-mile run for physical training in the morning or taking a three-minute quiz with his esteemed Superman soundtrack in the background, he made clear his intentions for me to perform well. Additionally, while in Fort Benning performing Situational Training Exercises, he spent three hours training me, specifically, on how to perform a well-executed ambush while letting me take charge of 30 other cadets from other schools.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
Johnny Cash. He came from nothing and became one of the greatest musicians of the last century. He struggled with a lot with his addictions, but he came to realize that all those things were meaningless compared with his true purpose in life.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
be a musician and play in concerts all around the world.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to...
travel all around the world.
After graduation, I plan to...
attend medical school and be a soldier in the Army National Guard.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
Georgia/Florida weekend during my senior year when we beat Florida for the first time during my college career. A dozen of my fraternity brothers and I packed into one of my roommates’ condo in St. Simons Island that weekend, and we enjoyed a full weekend of football and St. Simons’ festivities.