Faculty spotlight: Matthew Stenson

Meet Matthew Stenson, assistant professor in the Exercise & Rehabilitation Sciences program

When did you start at UMD? 

I started at UMD last fall.

Why did you choose to work at UMD?

My partner, Mary Stenson (who also teaches at UMD), and I were looking to make a change, and UMD seemed like a good fit for us. We love UMD and Duluth.

What do you like most about your job? 

I love when I get my students as excited about a topic as I am, and how that develops into amazing conversations and learning opportunities. Also, our colleagues in Applied Human Sciences are great.

What is your research and/or teaching focus?

As far as teaching goes, I guess I am a bit of a generalist. I teach research methods, sport psychology, and senior capstone, among others. I am a sport psychologist by training, and my research has centered around flow and imagery. 

Do you have any advice for students?

We hear a lot about finding your passion and "doing what you love." Which is great, and I don't necessarily disagree with that. But I like to turn that advice on its head. So I tell my students, especially those that struggle to find their path, "to love what you do." Many of us spend a lot of time wishing we were doing something else, but research shows that we are happier when we are engaged with our tasks. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love being outdoors, and Duluth offers so many opportunities. In the summer, I like to mountain bike and trail run. In the winter, snowshoe and ski. Our two young boys keep us busy as well. When not outside, I love reading, mostly science fiction and fantasy, and playing board games.