Class of 2018: Matthew Morency leaves a legacy of leadership and advocacy
Since transferring to Virginia Tech in 2016, Matthew Morency has served as the president of the Recovery Community at Virginia Tech (RCVT) — a group supporting students in recovery from substance abuse.
“Matthew has a passion for this work and a deeper understanding than most,” said Joshua Redding, assistant director of Hokie Wellness and advisor to the RCVT. “He's chosen to follow his passion, eschewing a culture that promotes substance use and embracing the personal sacrifice that often comes with leadership. He knows first-hand the struggle of many of the students he's helping and is using his story to impact the culture in profound ways.”
In this role, Matthew creates a welcoming and supportive environment for students to participate in weekly discussions. He also organizes social events, fundraisers, and outreach activities, and he educates organizations about addiction and alcoholism.
“I am most proud of my commitment to Virginia Tech's motto and my growth as a student and a person,” said Matthew. “VT was the perfect place for me because of the support I received and what I felt I was able to give back. Involving myself in RCVT, applying myself to my program, and receiving many great opportunities through professors, peers, and my mentors at Hokie Wellness has resulted in a fulfilling and multifaceted educational experience that I am truly grateful for.”
Matthew transferred here because he wanted a top-tier education, but he admits he had a harder time getting involved than others who enrolled as first-year students. Joining RCVT helped him find his place here, and leading this community has been the highlight of his Virginia Tech experience.
“Rather than one single instance, the highlights for me are the times that make me feel that the work I have done is paying off,” said Matthew. “Like when a student shows growth and makes strides towards a happier life; when a meeting is full and has rich conversation; and other examples that show RCVT is having a positive impact on students.”
In addition to his work with RCVT, Matthew is the undergraduate regional representative for the Mid-Atlantic region of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education, which exists to empower collegiate recovery programs and professionals to support students in recovery.
Beginning in spring 2016, Matthew has made the dean’s list each semester and was honored with an Aspire! Award for embracing Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) as a way of life in spring 2017. He graduated with an associate’s degree in agriculture from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in May 2017 and will earn his bachelor's degree in psychology from the College of Science this month. He intends to pursue a master’s degree in counselor education at Virginia Tech.
While there’s much to miss about Virginia Tech, Matthew says he’ll miss the sense of community and the beautiful campus the most.
Photo by Christina Franusich
Written by Tiffany Woodall