Illinois State University’s Department of Health Sciences recognizes Matthew Weybright as our featured student this week.

Weybright is from Mt. Zion, a city outside of Decatur. Weybright spent four years as a combat medic in the Army. He and his wife, Victoria, found that of his four years in the army, due to multiple deployments, they spent less than a year of that time together.

As his years of service came to an end, he knew he needed a change of lifestyle. He and his wife decided to move back “home” to friends and family. Having a passion for science and an analytical mindset, combined with his time cross-training in a lab, lead Weybright to pursue a medical laboratory science major with a minor in safety.

Illinois State seemed like the perfect fit for him due to its reputation for an easy transition for nontraditional students. Weybright says he found that reputation to be true and was delighted by the ease of his transition into college life by way of friendly staff, faculty, and fellow students. He’s had nothing but a great experiences at Illinois State.

International experiences

Weybright’s determination and drive are not qualities to question, he has many fantastic experiences under his belt. One that really stands out was his time spent in Australia this summer. He was selected into the International Scholar Laurette Program as a member of their 2016 Delegation on Medicine & Science. He spent weeks learning about the Australian healthcare system, attending lectures on tropical medicine, Australian bush medicine, and learning what it is like to be a medical student in Australia.

Weybright has big hopes for the future. Twenty years from now, Weybright hopes to have completed his master’s degree and begin working toward a doctorate. He also hopes to be running his own lab.

When Weybright is not in school, he enjoys kayaking, traveling, and cooking. He also says that if he were not in school for medical laboratory science, he would definitely be in culinary school.

“I love to cook. It is how I manage my stress. I have always wanted to have my own gourmet food truck,” he said.

Victoria, his wife, has been with him through his many experiences, and her encouragement and reassurance has made a tremendous impact on his life. Weybright recognizes that he “couldn’t do any of this without her.”

He is also thankful for his role models, SFC Donald Freeman and SGT Steven Randall, who influenced him via their leadership, by mentoring and motivating him.  They challenged him to “strive for greatness and not settle for anything less”. One quote from Randall that has guided Weybright throughout his time at Illinois State: “The difference between those who fail and those who succeed is, that successful people do what they have to do, when they have to do it, whether they want to do it or not.”

Thank you, Matthew, for being a part of the medical laboratory science family at Illinois State University!

The medical laboratory science (MLS) faculty nominated Matthew Weybright for the student spotlight because of his dedication to the profession. He is an excellent role model in meeting the challenges of the MLS curriculum.