“I can’t tell you about how many things I’ve achieved because of what I was exposed to at USC,” says Dr. Matt Heric, a College of Arts & Sciences alumnus from the class of 1987 with a Master's in Geography. “The level of professionalism in the department was head and shoulders above any of the other universities I attended. The expectation of the students was greater as well. At the other schools, there was a process or a program, but at USC, both the professors and other students expected to just jump in and get started.
“I think success is part luck, part timing. We had to work hard from day one. We learned to formulate and articulate ideas and to present them in public. It was training blended with traditional education. I could immediately start getting involved.”
Matt currently works for IAVO Research and Scientific, building remote sensing software for the Department of Defense, a field he has been working in since his time at USC. “When I chose USC, remote sensing as a field was relatively new, but USC was just then making investments in young faculty who were eager in their careers. They were the hotshots and I knew that it was a rare opportunity to be able to study under them - they were going places. I had opportunities at Penn State and Kansas, but I picked USC because of the faculty. I knew that once I graduated, not only would I be exceptionally well prepared but also all I would have to do was mention the fact that I was a graduate of their program and I could leverage the strength of their reputation as I went forward in my career.”
Matt has kept in touch with several of his USC professors and notes the inevitable passing of time: “I’ve actually kept up with some of those professors and, I can’t believe it, but several of their “kids” have now become professors as well.”