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Matthew Arias '20

Matthew Arias

Matthew Arias, from San Bernardino, Calif., travelled across the country to be continue his education in a WVU graduate program that would provide him exceptional experiences on scholarship.

Arias was awarded the Distinguished Doctoral Scholarship which provides $5,000 to doctoral students who are admitted to doctoral candidacy and working toward the completion of their dissertations in the spring semester.

“The scholarship will provide me the opportunity to investigate the preferences patients hold about treatments that target fears/phobias,” Arias said. “It will help assess ways to improve established treatments, which, in turn, can aid to increase overall utilization and adherence to psychotherapy treatment.”

He began his college career at Cal State San Bernardino earning his bachelor’s degree in psychology.

“WVU has a terrific training program that extends back decades,” he said. “I knew that WVU would provide many opportunities for my professional development and allow me to attain my future goals as a psychologist.”

The clinical psychology program allows Arias to continue studying the treatment of anxiety and related disorders with an interest in examining exposure therapy.

It also provides Arias with unique experiences like being able to teach undergraduate courses, working with WVU Family Medicine delivering cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia, providing inpatient long-term care for older adults with severe mental illnesses, and working at a neuropsychological assessment center.

The program provides teaching opportunities, high levels of research and many clinical experiences.

“Personally, receiving this scholarship provides me the ability to carry out my research goals and will make me more of a well-rounded researcher. The research that will be conducted as a direct result of this scholarship will set the foundation for my future research,” he added.

Arias graduates in May 2020 and wants to pursue post-doctoral research, most likely at a veteran’s affairs center. He plans to work at an undergraduate-focused school that will allow him to conduct research, teach/train and supervise students in clinical work.

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