Student Spotlight: Library Research Award Winner Joe Mathison

The winner of the Spring Quarter Library Research Award for 2014 is Joe Mathison, who is earning a criminal justice degree. Joe is a hardworking student and family man who is well-deserving of the award.

Joe Mathison displays his winning paper

He connects easily with his fellow students, and is a dedicated and involved student. You might be surprised to know that Joe is a twin and was born three months premature, weighing only two pounds, eight ounces! What’s not surprising, however, is Joe’s dedication to his studies and his family.

Don’t Let the Writing Assignments Intimidate You

When Joe started his education at Globe in 2012, he hadn’t written a paper in eight years. “I hadn’t written a paper since my senior year in high school,” Joe said. While many students might have been intimidated by writing assignments or research papers, Joe didn’t let that stop him. Instead, he followed some smart tips and made use of the resources provided by Globe.

“Don’t wait until the last minute to start writing a paper,” Joe offered. “Try not to over think about what you are writing because it only makes the process more difficult; just start writing.”

In addition, Joe makes sure his research is sound and reliable. “I use Globe’s online library when researching, because it serves as a great research tool and offers scholarly sources,” he noted.

When assignments require outside sources, Joe pays careful attention to follow APA format and avoid plagiarism. “Make sure your sources are cited correctly,” he said.

Joe’s final pieces of writing advice are proof reading and being aware of the audience he is writing for. “Have someone proof read your paper. Though it may sound good to you, it might not make sense to others,” he mentioned. “Getting a second opinion makes a world of difference.”


Passionate about Family

Joe also discovered that being passionate about his family helped him win the Library Research Award. Joe’s winning paper discussed witnessing his grandmother suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and provided research to help families understand the intricacies of the illness.

To support his family, Joe works full time for Lloyd’s Pizza in Bangor, Wisconsin. He also resides in Bangor with his wife of four years and his sons, ages two and two months.

Having children this young really made going back to school difficult for Joe, but the support of his family, particularly his wife, a pediatric nurse, has made all the difference in the world. “My family is the number one priority in my life, and I try to spend as much time as I can with them when I am not at school,” Joe stated.

Joe cherishes the time he spends with his family. “I would have to say that my family makes me happy,” Joe said. “Without their love and support, I do not think that I would have gotten as far as I have with school. Whenever I am having a bad day or stressing about everything I have to do, my family is always there to listen and offer encouraging words of wisdom.”

Joe Mathison with his family

The Decision to Return to School

Joe decided to go back to school because he was not happy with how his job was going, and he wanted something different in his life as well as a better future for his family.

Scott Alo, Globe instructor and Chief of the Bangor Police Department “got me interested in the criminal justice program at Globe after telling me about the many different types of job opportunities there are within this field. I enjoy helping people, so I felt that this program would give me that opportunity,” Joe shared.

Joe chose Globe for their flexibility. He works full time in order to support his family, and he needed a school that offered night classes and would work around his schedule. Globe was the best fit.

Joe appreciates that the instructors have firsthand experience in what they are teaching. This made understanding things a little easier and also gave him an idea of what to expect when he becomes employed in that field.

Making Career Goals Come True

“When I am finished with the criminal justice program,” Joe states, “I hope to obtain a job as a corrections officer, and I would love to work with juveniles.” He hopes that through a job in his field, he will be able to make a difference in the lives of others. “Even if I am only able to help one person, it would be a big accomplishment.”

Congratulations, Joe, on winning the Library Research Award! Joe won $100 off on his e-resources, and it also looks great on his resume. If you receive an “A” this quarter on any paper, please consider submitting it for this award.

This post was written by Dana Wallace, La Crosse Campus Librarian. Dana is the campus librarian for Globe La Crosse, and a native Iowan who returned to school to pursue her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science after a long career as a paralegal/legal assistant. She obtained her graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee completely online while working full time, so she can relate to the busy schedules of the Globe students who balance homework and careers. She loves the library and is passionate about helping the students become great investigators and researchers. Dana was currently honored with taking over the reigns as the Creative Quill campus lead.