Matt Keefe '14
Penn State University 2018
University of California, San Francisco (Ph.D. student)
"One of the most important things I learned from Solebury was being open to meeting people who are different from myself. The diversity of both classmates and teachers that I interacted with meant I was forced out of my comfort zone in a wide range of situations. This has been incredibly important moving through both college and now graduate school, where it’s impossible to simply stay in your own bubble and resist change.” —Matt
Matt has always been an ambitious student, in and out of the classroom. As a senior, he won a prestigious Solebury School Founders Award — the Laurie Y. Erskine Award for Literature. He also earned the Frank Ammirati Most Valuable Senior Athlete Award for his skills on the soccer field and in track and field. That said, Matt believes that what he gained from Solebury School helped directly inform his success in college. “I think the unique teaching of Solebury, where students can directly and openly interact with their teachers, was very helpful when it came to speaking with authority figures such as professors, deans, and distinguished alumni,” Matt explains. “Having the confidence to speak your mind and stay true to your own ideas is a skill that will be useful throughout my life.”
In June, Matt graduated summa cum laude from Penn State University with a 3.99 GPA with dual majors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Chinese. He received the Foster Scholarship for excellence in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and he was recognized as an Outstanding Graduate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He graduated from Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College after completing his thesis, “Direct Astrocyte-to-Neuron Conversion in Spinal Neurodegenerative Disease Models.”
After graduation, Matt married his Solebury School sweetheart, Susan (Huang) Keefe ’14. The newlyweds then moved out west, where Matt has begun his Ph.D. in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology at the University of California, San Francisco. Susan begins her Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS), also at UCSF, this fall.