Purdue graduate speaks at summer commencement

Matthew Pharris turned his dream into reality and was chosen to speak about it.

Posted: Aug 3, 2019 4:19 PM
Updated: Aug 4, 2019 11:50 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)—After nine years at Purdue, graduate Matthew Pharris is calling this year’s summer commencement an end to an era.

"Their very proud. My family is super proud,” said Pharris.

Matthew Pharris never imagined nine years ago that he would be where he is today. Receiving his doctorate in biomedical engineering and a speaker at summer commencement.

"I think if you would of asked Matt Pharris nine years ago when I first came to Purdue's campus,” said Pharris. “I don't think speaking at graduation would've been one of the things I had the chance to do."

Matthew came to Purdue as an undergraduate in 2011. Graduating in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering.

"I think when I first started out at Purdue I was thinking maybe I'd be a doctor one day, go on to medical school,” said Pharris.

He’s from Phoenix, Arizona. Pharris said moving from the desert and big city to West Lafayette was quite an adjustment.

"I think like most students when they come to Purdue you experience a little bit of home sickness,” said Pharris.

Pharris said that once he figured out what he wanted for himself. Finding people that were able to help was a bit difficult.

"Once you recognize that you need mentorship or you need a support system beyond just what you can form for yourself, it's finding those individuals who can be your mentors,” said Pharris.

Although Pharris said he was able to overcome that obstacle.

"You learn over time and you account for some of the hardship you have,” said Pharris. “And I think I certainly did that."

That's why he was asked to speak at summer commencement.

"They called me out of blue and said oh, hey, Matt you know we're looking for somebody to speak for graduation,” said Pharris. “We know that you a perspective of undergraduate life, graduate student life."

He said sometimes you just have to go the extra mile to reach your milestone.

"Finding what works for you,” said Pharris. “For me it might not just be making sure you go to class every day. Sometimes you have to do more than just that."

During Pharris’ nine year run on campus, he received numerous awards, as well as served in numerous leadership and teaching capacities. One included serving as chair of the Graduate Student Senate.

Pharris also published three articles during his college career and has presented at nine conferences.

Now that he has graduated he has accepted a position at the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in Maryland. There he will work as a postdoctoral researcher doing machine learning research to improve the health outcome for diabetes and cardiovascular patients.

West Lafayette
Overcast
33° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 25°
Kokomo
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 18°
Rensselaer
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 22°
Fowler
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 22°
Williamsport
Overcast
33° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 25°
Crawfordsville
Clear
26° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 18°
Frankfort
Overcast
32° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 24°
Delphi
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 22°
Monticello
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 22°
Logansport
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 25°
Cold night, then drier, milder regime.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 338977

Reported Deaths: 5723
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion46131870
Lake29183469
Allen19572307
Elkhart18074236
St. Joseph17808239
Hamilton14364172
Vanderburgh10546128
Tippecanoe948130
Porter890690
Johnson7132171
Hendricks6820162
Vigo643592
Monroe572452
Madison5506124
Clark547678
Delaware5252104
LaPorte501997
Kosciusko484042
Howard382978
Bartholomew355165
Warrick350073
Wayne345886
Floyd338078
Marshall320446
Cass311531
Grant302550
Hancock294357
Noble274147
Boone267655
Henry266139
Dubois253732
Jackson242034
Dearborn241131
Morgan236543
Gibson207329
Shelby204159
Knox198021
DeKalb193435
Clinton192922
Lawrence191349
Wabash183922
Miami181417
Adams180023
Daviess167545
Fayette159834
Jasper159113
Montgomery158329
Steuben158116
Harrison155824
Ripley155721
LaGrange152232
Whitley149715
Huntington141810
White140323
Decatur140044
Putnam138129
Wells137030
Clay135125
Randolph134022
Jefferson133416
Posey130318
Scott119421
Greene112253
Sullivan106717
Jay106414
Jennings98714
Starke98025
Spencer9268
Fulton90119
Fountain8778
Perry87321
Washington8487
Franklin77027
Carroll75313
Orange73128
Vermillion6927
Owen6699
Parke6466
Tipton64027
Rush6078
Blackford59613
Newton59412
Pike54920
Pulaski45016
Benton3943
Martin3866
Brown3815
Crawford3251
Union3012
Switzerland2735
Warren2663
Ohio2457
Unassigned0267

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events