Interview and photo done by Shaina Kambo
Eastview Campus Manager Ben Mathey, has worked for ACC since 1999. He started in student services and gained experience as a center supervisor and adjunct professor. Mathey received a bachelor’s degree in history from Southwestern University and a master’s degree in history from Texas State University.
ACCENT: Can you describe a typical day on the job?
MATHEY: My job on a typical day is to help people on the campus who are experiencing any issues in regards to the facilities at the Eastview Campus. Even more simply, my job is to try and make things better. Fortunately for me, I have a team of great individuals that make everything run so smoothly.
ACCENT: What challenges did you have to overcome in life in order to achieve your current success?
MATHEY: I have dyslexia, but I would not consider that a challenge. When I was 12 years old, I had a doctor tell me that in two-weeks time there was a 50% chance I would be completely healed and a 50% chance I would be dead. Fortunately, I went for the first option.
ACCENT: Was there anyone who motivated you to take the career path that you did?
MATHEY: There is no one individual but a multitude who [have] inspired me to have a career in education. I believe higher education is one of the greatest gifts of civilization, and I relish that idea everyday. Education is a gift that is continually giving and the ability to be a part of that on a professional level is a privilege.
ACCENT: As a former student, what advice can you provide for the ACC student who may feel a little overwhelmed with college life?
MATHEY: You the student, are the most important factor in your education. Everyone you see, everyone you encounter, has the same fears and trepidations. What you need to know is that everyone is here to help. All you have to do is ask. Learn to ask for help. Learn to ask for guidance. Learn to ask, no matter what your problem is.
ACCENT: What makes Eastview Campus stand out from other campuses at ACC?
MATHEY: I know every campus says this, but it really is the people. Eastview is home to some of the most passionate faculty and staff I have encountered. People attend ACC as part of a transformational experience: they come here to change their lives. East Austin is also in a moment of transition. I believe that more than any other campus, Eastview has the potential to play an incredible role in connecting the economic opportunities occurring in Austin to the residents of the surrounding community.
ACCENT: What’s the most interesting experience you have had on campus?
MATHEY: Technically this was not on a campus but at the San Marcos Goodnight Center. At one point we were sharing a building with the high school agriculture program. One day I heard a commotion in the hallway and when I investigated, I found that two goats had escaped from the agriculture program into the halls. I can now say that working at ACC has helped me develop my goat-wrangling skills.
Editor’s Note: This interview has been condensed and edited