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University of Missouri

Head of the Class

Presidential scholar from Nixa, Mo., chooses Mizzou.

Corey Matzat and Gregory Triplett

Gregory Triplett, associate director of the Honors College and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, works with Presidential Scholar and engineering freshman Corey Matzat on a molecular beam epitaxy system Matzat is learning to use as part of his undergraduate research. Photo by Nicholas Benner.

Corey Matzat could have gone to school almost anywhere. He chose Mizzou.

Pegged as gifted from a young age, the Nixa, Mo., native was named a National Merit Scholar, earned the rank of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America and scored a perfect 36 on the ACT.

In May 2013, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Matzat as a U.S. Presidential Scholar, an honor reserved for 141 of the nation’s top-performing high school seniors.

Courted by many schools, including the University of Alabama, Matzat says attending the Missouri Scholars Academy at Mizzou in 2011 convinced him he wanted to be a Tiger.

The computer engineering major participates in the Honors College Discovery Fellowship Program, which gives freshmen the opportunity to work alongside a faculty member on a research project. Matzat works in the lab of Gregory Triplett, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. Triplett is also associate director of the Honors College.

It’s hard to say exactly what I want to do,” Matzat says, “but I’m looking forward to all of the options out there. Because of the rate that technology is changing nowadays, the job I’ll have one day might not even exist yet.”