Class of 2021 Incoming Student Spotlight: Matthew P. Gonzalez, Translational Science Ph.D. Program
Tell me about yourself. My name is Matthew Paul Gonzalez. I am a Hispanic first-generation college student with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Kinesiology. I am also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
I will be entering the Translational Science doctoral program in the Fall 2021 semester. Currently, my research interests are in the field of strength and conditioning and human performance. More specifically– examining the relationship between inter-limb asymmetries with human performance and risk of injury. For example, if an individual has a difference in composition, strength, or performance in one limb does that translate to a decrease in performance or a greater risk for injury and that is something I hope to learn more about during my time as a doctoral student.
Previously, I have conducted research examining the benefits of various exercise modalities in recreationally active individuals, competitive powerlifters, Division I track and field athletes, high school athletes, older adults, and professional Wushu athletes. I was also a co-investigator on two nationally funded grants, the first examining the effects of resisted sprint training in ice-hockey players and the second examining the physical, academic, and psychological impacts of implementing a strength and conditioning program in high schools.
What is your hometown? I was born in Dallas, Texas but grew up in the Sunland Park, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas region.
Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio? Attending UT Health San Antonio will provide me excellent opportunities to gain knowledge and develop my skills as a researcher. This university provides numerous opportunities for collaborations which will help me learn from a variety of faculty and students which in turn will allow me to develop high quality research studies and competitive grant applications. It will also provide me exposure to different research fields and will allow me to learn how different research fields work together to help improve the health and well-being of others. In addition, the GrantSeekers program will allow me the opportunity to get feedback on my grant applications and improve them prior to submission and which will in turn allow me to be more competitive in the grant application process.
What drew you to your program?
The multi-campus approach drew me to the Translational Science Ph.D. program. Being able to attend multiple institutions will afford me the opportunity to learn about different fields in science and apply them to my research. It will also allow me to learn about the different tools and methods used by others in their research and how to apply them to my own. It will also make it easier to establish cross-campus collaborations with the various faculty and students.
What are your career goals? My goals for the future are to pursue a career in research and academia. I have always enjoyed coming up with research questions and ways to answer them. I have also enjoyed being able to teach others and helping them grow as individuals. I know a career in academia will afford me the opportunity to do both.