Faces of FHSD: Matthew Hoogveld

Our faculty is proud to be home to the School of Nursing, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, and School of Social Work, where our students are the most important part of what we do.

Meet Matthew Hoogveld—Human Kinetics student, Terry Fox Humanitarian Award recipient, President of the Human Kinetics Course Union, and dedicated volunteer.  He took time out of his last year of studies to tell us about life as a UBC student.
FHSD: What was the last picture you took on your phone?
Hoogveld: The last picture I took on my phone was a photo of a shoulder model during my anatomy lab. This photo encompasses all the bones and muscles of the shoulder joint. In anatomy, these models are essential for the understanding of the individual muscles’ actions, insertions, origins, line of pull, what nerve innervates and what blood vessel innervate. To be honest, my phone is filled with these models. It is a great way to study for either the in-class midterm or the lab exams. And, to be perfectly honest, there is a picture of myself from Halloween in a wedding dress mixed in with these model photos. You can say that I was trying to be a model as well.

What is your favourite place to study or work at UBCO?
Through my years at UBC Okanagan I’ve tried numerous locations to study, but the two places I get the most work done —with a coffee of course— would have to be the Library or finding a random classroom with friends to use the whiteboard to discuss, experiment, and learn from each other. The way I learn is by teaching and talking it out. I am a kinaesthetic learner so I need to be moving while learning. By having the classroom to discuss, write out topics, and challenge friends, it helps me learn while my friends learn as well. I will review the information on my own first, but then learn from my peers. I feel working in groups creates numerous conversations for better learning.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in Human Kinetics?
To date, in my life, I have endured periods of tremendous pain offset by periods of remarkable successes, and these have made me who I am today. I thrive on giving and helping others. I have been an athlete for many years, but after having to endure five consecutive knee surgeries I can no longer participate in competitive sport. So being in the Human Kinetics program has helped me strive to be the best I can, while continuing to be involved in the athletic world. Accomplishments such as humanitarian awards/scholarships from Terry Fox, Trevor Linden, Rick Hansen, City of Richmond Mayor: Malcolm Brodie, Rotary Club of Steveston and Canadian Cancer Society, has confirmed Human Kinetics was the right choice.

The Human Kinetics school is a family, and that is truly what I have fallen in love with. The faculty lives and breathes community, legacy and inclusivity. Coming into school first year I did not know what to expect. I picked the program because of my love of sport, but it is so much more than that. The professors of the school truly create a wealth of opportunities for all students going through the program. As I learned who I was through my years at UBC Okanagan the value of humanitarian work came forth, and now I get to use exercise as medicine while working with cancer patients, individuals with disabilities and the Heat soccer team. I am the President of Human Kinetics Student Union, too. Human Kinetics provides opportunities I didn’t think I could receive. What you put into the Human Kinetics program, you will get out. The program has given me this chance to take the reins and run with it, and by working closely with my professors I am able learn from them, and I am able to work towards my future endeavours. I am striving to begin my own business– which will be an inclusive environment for cancer patients to combat cancer-related fatigue with exercise. The Human Kinetics program is something I’ve always been interested in since speaking with my counsellor in grade 12. I just was unclear of where I wanted to go with it. I feel my passion for helping others comes from my mother. I lost my mom to cancer 11 years ago. Each day she lived to help others, and make sure that no one was left behind no matter what ability they had. I feel I do what I do for her; she is my motivation, and my life. I apply her mindset to help others, and with my love for health and exercise, I get to use those two perspectives to use exercise as medicine. The Human Kinetics program makes that possible.

Name the next item on your bucket list you are going to cross off?
This is a difficult question because I’ve never truly made a bucket list. The moments that I have experienced are those of randomness. Mostly stories of “did I actually do that?” or “that would be awesome to do”, or “that sounds like a bad idea” (so we do them). I think the biggest thing that I will be able to cross of my bucket list in the coming months is that after second-term finals are done, my closest friends and I are going to drive across Canada. We will start in Vancouver, and go all the way to Toronto, then out East to Newfoundland. There has always been this wonder of travelling across the country in an RV with your best friends to see this beautiful country. Next up is a trip to volunteer in Argentina. This trip is still in the making, but to go to South America and backpack from Argentina to Brazil has been a dream of mine. This will be an amazing experience for me. To grow as a person, and to celebrate graduation, with the people that have had the biggest impact on my life.

What do you know now, that you didn’t when started your degree at UBCO?
Life is never as easy as A to B. I came into university thinking I knew how to do it, but what high school does not prepare you for is the roller coaster of emotions, heart breaks, all-nighters, social outings, etc… Know that your journey is never a straight line; know that there are life events that set you back, events that will propel you forward, and events that keep you up at night making you contemplate everything. Not just my program, but all programs at UBC Okanagan, inspire us to grow. The growth is not what we do with our success, but how we handle ourselves when we fail. Or, when we suffer a death in our family or friends, a breakup, or an all-nighter cramming. I didn’t know who I was when I started my degree, but as I move into graduation those feeling of insecurity and loneliness are fading because of the friends I’ve made. Moments I’ll always remember... and the nights you spend just reminiscing on your life are positive, not negative. Yes, I still have growing to do, but, I recommend you take whatever time you have left here at UBCO and give back. Give back to yourself, and to the school. What it offers– it truly is endless. UBC Okanagan is a family, you are never just a number, and the future consists of the moments you make today, because if you drift through university you will be left behind in this world. Step up and out of your comfort zone, and take life head-on. As I have experienced, you may not end up where you planned 5 years from this moment. That thought should be, and can be, the most beautiful thing: the thought that the best days of your life are numerous and still haven’t happen yet.

Who do you nominate for the next Faces of FHSD?
Melody Joy – 3rd Year Human Kinetics

2 responses to “Faces of FHSD: Matthew Hoogveld”

  1. Aman Soin

    Amazing write up! Matt is a truly inspiring individual who models the UBC and human spirt well.

  2. Barb Parker

    What a wonderful young man. So mature in his outlook on life. He is destined to a very bright future. Will be interesting to watch his successes.

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