Matt in uniform
Matthew Barnhart
Class of 2017
Dansville, NY

Communication Studies Applied to a Military Career

Matt visited AU for the first time during a 5th grade field trip as his elementary school was beginning migrating toward a STEM-based curriculum. He fell in love with Alfred's unique appeal, holding onto that image through high school. Remaining in awe of the University from when he first stepped foot onto campus all those years ago, he would later enroll and be accepted to AU, majoring in Communication Studies with minors in Spanish and Global Studies.

Alfred is what you make it. If you want to be adventurous and try new things, there is always someone willing to share their experiences at every corner.
Matt and a friend.

Matt recalls fondly growing up with stories of his parents and their time living on military bases as children, creating an itch in him to travel from an early age. Majoring in Communication Studies, he built a strong foundation in effective communication, public speaking, and interpersonal and self-confidence skills. He also gained additional exposure to the world by minoring in Spanish and Global Studies. Finding himself evaluating his post-graduation plans to confidently go out and begin exploring the world, Matt enlisted in the Marine Corps, providing him a clear and structured path onto his next adventure.

Regarding the relationships Matt build and his experiences at AU overall, Matt looks back on loving that if he ever needed anything, someone in the Alfred University community was ready and willing to help. Students, faculty, staff...even the Dean of Student Wellbeing was always willing to sit down with Matt and lend an ear or a cup of tea when he felt stuck. Matt has taken that same caring approach into his military career, and in doing so "has opened up so many great conversations" with his recruits.


Currently Stationed: Ginowan-shi, Okinawa, Japan

What rank are you? E-3 Lance Corporal

What is your military job? I'm an Engineer and Electrical Equipment Systems Technician. I work with generators and electricity enabling equipment to run sites in areas where electricity is not available.

What is your future plan? There are several paths I see my future going. A couple of those make the military a career. Whether in the Marine Corps or in another branch is still to be decided, and a couple options will take me traveling the world on my own accord, either documenting injustices or writing policies to combat the injustices.

What do you enjoy most about your career/current job? I enjoy the friends I’ve made and the things I’ve been able to do while on deployments. I am in a very unique unit and MOS where I am prized for what I know and can bring to the table. My unit has operations all over the Pacific theater that occur year round, and since everything needs power, someone with my MOS is constantly in demand. We have a saying in my unit: “If you have power, my job is done. If you don’t, come get me.

My Life at Alfred and Beyond

Here are just some of the clubs, places and activities I love:

Matthew Barnhart

My Hobbies & Interests

  • Spectrum
  • Poder Latino
  • Institute for Cultural Unity
  • Student Activities Board
  • Fiat Lux
  • AUTV
  • WALF
  • Drawn to Diversity
  • Art Force 5

My Favorite Places

Herrick Library in the wooden room, the computer lab by the Communication Department, the Media office inside the Center for Student Involvement, and Center for Student Involvement with Dan Napolitano, Eliza Ordway and Tricia Debertolis.

My Topics

  • Social Justice
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Student Life