Niles native named presidential scholarPublished 9:31am Monday, April 21, 2014
Matthew J. Ftacek is the Presidential Scholar in anthropology and a graduate of Niles Senior High School as well as of Southwestern Michigan College in Dowagiac, Mich., where he earned an Associate of Arts in Political Science. He majored in anthropology as well as in English at WMU and graduated summa cum laude in December 2013, with a bachelor of arts.
Following graduation, Ftacek has been applying to graduate creative writing programs with the intention to write poetry and fiction with an emphasis on current world events and anthropological concerns.
Ftacek plans to continue his education, both in writing and in anthropology, and eventually have a career as a university professor.
At WMU, he maintained a 4.0 grade point average and received an honorable mention in the William R. Brown Award competition for his essay “Violence in Beowulf.”
He is an avid reader, writer and runner, and occasionally volunteers at a local elementary school to tutor children in reading, writing and mathematics.
The annual Presidential Scholar designation is the highest honor WMU can bestow on an undergraduate. The award goes to the most outstanding seniors in each of the University’s academic schools, departments and specialty programs. Students are selected on the basis of their general academic excellence, academic and artistic excellence in their majors, and intellectual and artistic promise.