Faculty Friday with Matt Barnes PhD, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

What class subjects do you teach?

I teach most every math course we offer. Some of my favorites are Stats, Calculus, Social Justice Math, and Discrete Math.

What would you say attracted you to the field of teaching?

For the longest time, I tried to avoid teaching as both my parents are educators. My mother was a college professor in special education and my dad was an engineer turned high school math teacher. But when I went to graduate school and taught as part of my assistantship, it felt very natural for me and far more rewarding than any other career option I was looking at. 

What appealed to you about teaching at Spring Hill College?

Cura Personalis. My Father attended SHC from 1977 to 1979 and he never stopped talking about his experience here. He would say that Spring Hill “educated him” while the other college he attended “manufactured him”. And that spirit rings true across all of campus. School, math, and careers are all only so important in the grand scheme of things, and students all have a life and needs outside of career aspirations and classes. Being at a place that both acknowledges and embraces is what makes SHC special in my eyes. 

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

Probably the disc golf course. I’ve been playing for a few years and while it can be a tough walk in the Summer heat, it really highlights both the natural beauty of the campus as well as the historic and storied buildings. I love bringing friends to play here and showing them all sides of the campus. 

What is your most prized possession?

I think it has to be my acoustic guitar. It was given to me when I was 16 and had been with me in every dorm, every apartment, and every house I’ve been in, plus a couple of road-trips. I’ve spent so many hours playing, I’ve worn a hole in the lacquer. It’s kept me company through all the good and bad times of my life. If I had to start from scratch and could only keep one thing it would be that guitar.


Founded in 1830, Spring Hill College is the oldest Catholic college in the Southeast and the third oldest Jesuit college in the United States. Spring Hill combines the Jesuit tradition of excellence in education and a commitment to caring for the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – with innovative educational experiences. Located in Mobile, Ala., Spring Hill’s mission is to form leaders engaged in learning, faith, justice and service for life. As a result, Spring Hill students are engaged, inspired and transformed by their experiences.

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