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Seasider Spotlight: Matthew Bowen

Professor Matthew Bowen standing outside.
Photo by Monique Saenz, university photographer

Name: Matthew Bowen

BYUH employee since: 2012

My job at BYUH is... Associate Professor of Religious Education

I grew up in... Orem, Utah

I'm currently working on... finishing one book, and working on another book with more in their early planning stages.

I get most excited about my work... when I experience the process of discovery. Coming across a new and interesting find or new information is such a rewarding experience.

My favorite thing about teaching is... the students! I love the students at BYU–Hawaii.

Best advice I've ever received about teaching... love what you're teaching and who you are teaching. It makes all the difference in the world.

Matthew Bowen talking at podium.
Professor Matthew Bowen gave his address at BYU–Hawaii's Convocation in September 2022.
Photo by Monique Saenz

My favorite memory at BYU–Hawaii... any time students have that "aha" moment as if a light bulb turns on. That's when you know they've just experienced illumination. I can't help but feel joyful for them.

My favorite course to teach is... REL 304 Writings of Isaiah.

Students don't think I notice... when they're not engaged in the conversation.

My advice to graduating seniors is... don't let a bachelor's degree or any graduate school degree tell you that you know enough to stop learning. Become a lifelong learner and the world will never be dull.

I'm currently reading... "How the Bible is Written" by Gary A. Rendsburg and re-reading the Lord of the Rings.

When I have 30 minutes of free time... I like to talk with my wife, Suzy.

If I could travel anywhere... I would go to Iceland because... my great-grandmother is from there.

My favorite holiday tradition is... eating my wife's homemade latkes and kugel (traditional Jewish dishes) and spending time with our kids.

On Saturday mornings, you'll find me... running. I run an average of six miles a day, five times a week.

My go-to comfort food is... pizza or Life cereal.

I'm most looking forward to... teaching in Jerusalem in August 2024 - August 2025, an opportunity I was granted by invitation and can't wait to experience!