Richmond/Innsbrook Graduate Helps Integrate Classroom Technology at UVA

Matthew Dickerson

Just three years after earning his Bachelor of Science degree from ECPI University’s Richmond/Innsbrook campus, Matt Dickerson found himself in a position he could scarcely have imagined. As IT and AV Project Manager for the University of Virginia School Of Medicine’s new medical education building, he was charged with integrating technology into the daily curriculum of budding medical students.

Now Manager of Desktop and Classroom Support, he oversees one of the most technologically-advanced classroom buildings in the nation.

“Working with faculty physicians is both rewarding and challenging,” says Matt. “The younger generation really embraces teaching technology whereas I have to really sell the benefits to the more established faculty so they ‘buy-in’ to the program.”

“It’s fascinating to watch as classroom instruction has evolved. When I was attending ECPI University, interactive education was part of everything we did. However, most of the other schools had not yet caught on to this method of teaching. Since then, some of the more traditional colleges and universities have begun to come around. Here at UVA, we’ve gone from about 90 percent lecture to about 40 percent, with interactive and hands-on learning making up the balance.”

Matt sees ECPI University as a pioneer in education, connecting with students who simply gravitate to a different learning style.

“I tried college several times and it just wasn’t clicking,” he says. “ECPI University’s team-based, hands-on approach was just what I needed. It more closely resembles what it’s like in the real world. Going to school at ECPI was like going to work in a professional environment. We weren’t just memorizing facts. We applied what we were learning.”

“The faculty is made up of true professionals who are at the top of their fields. They bring a lifetime of work experience into the classroom and it really makes a difference. I’m proud to be working at one of the nation’s oldest universities, but four-year, traditional colleges are not for everyone. For visual learners like myself, I highly recommend ECPI University. It’s made a huge difference in my life!”