By: MIKHAIL KULINETS / STAFF WRITER
Matt Taylor is a new force on the LIU Brooklyn campus and although he has only been here for a few months, he has already begun to make a huge impact on our campus community.
Taylor, a new Promise Coach and coach of the LIU Brooklyn eSports club and varsity team, is also a first-year seminar professor, who found some time to answer some questions about his background, his inspirations, and daily thoughts.
Q: Where are you from and what brings you to New York City?
A: I was raised in NYC. I was previously living in St. Louis, but coming back home was an easy decision in the midst of a global pandemic and a job offer at a great school.
Q: What was your major in college and why did you choose to pursue that specific career path?
A: Funny enough, my college major and my career are very unrelated. While coaching a championship eSports Program, I graduated with a History degree. I had always loved history, and wanted to be a History Professor and research for a living. However, life always tends to have other [careers] callings for me. My first job out of college was not even in History but in Law. I then went to teach both History and Law at the High School level before coming to LIU, once again back in eSports. Sometimes, making a final choice just comes down to being in the right place, mentally and physically, at the right time.
Q: What attracts you to educating young students? What does being a teacher mean?
A: I had a lot of great mentors growing up that were able to help me with internships, work opportunities, and just general information. Creating these opportunities and facilitating youth development has been a passion of mine ever since graduating. Being a teacher can allow you to give back and distribute the knowledge you were fortunate enough to gain. It is an awesome responsibility that always feels rewarding at the end of a semester.
Q: Was there someone along the way who inspired you? How was it?
A: In eSports, there were people who were always one step ahead of me: HistoryTeach, LastShadow, Clerkie. As well as, funny enough, the other famous athletes named Matthew Taylor in Esports: Impaler from League of Legends, TazMo from Overwatch. The drive I have comes from them, I’ve been lucky enough to call some of them mentors over the years. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work one-on-one with someone who was in the position I dreamed of.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I am a volunteer Aerospace instructor with the US Air Force Auxiliary. Believe it or not, I do not actually play video games much in my spare time. I enjoy hikes, softball, golf, and attend Broadway shows, sporting events, or concerts often.
Q: What drives you? What do you wake up every day for? What’s your motivation?
A: Honestly, I ask myself the same question. On one hand, I feel like an accomplished person having won championships and competed on the international stage. On the other hand, every day I am offered new opportunities, and I wake up to see what’s next for me. By the end of most days, I am surprised by a new challenge I face and come up with a plan to tackle it next.
Q: Do you think that education is important nowadays?
A: With a good professor, the content you can learn in a classroom is invaluable. Mentors in the field can teach you the practical, but you will struggle to move up without the macro-knowledge of how the field works as a whole.
Q: Is the future of the world dark or bright?
A: The future is never set in stone. If you had asked me pre-COVID I might have said Dark. However, there have been some changes in the world since then in decentralization of currency, increased access to technology, and a general togetherness of people I have not seen in years. The future seems brighter than I ever thought it would!
Q: Are there any pieces of art, which resonate with you and your personality?
A: There is a painting called Fireworks at Ryogoku by Japanese painter Utagawa Hiroshige. I’ve always enjoyed public viewings of fireworks. Usually it is a group celebration, mixed with shock and awe. It resonates with me because I appreciate when a large group effort comes together to build something great, and also know I never personally take time to stop and smell the roses. Sometimes you just need to sit, watch, and let it all sink in.
Q: And last, what makes us human?
A: Free Will, Opposable thumbs, Wendy’s 4 for 4’s.