By Jake Brown / Staff Writer

Five things to know about Matt Wilper:

Who’s a better student, Jake Brown or Brian Skillman? – “Both great young men, I’d hate to choose.” (Translation – Jake Brown).
Musical Taste – Alternative or Country music. Tends to listen to the 90’s and 00’s rap, particularly Outkast. Favorite artist of all time is The Killers.
Sports – Big Royals, Chiefs, KU and Blue Dragon basketball fan. Hates professional basketball, “too perfect, no defense.”
Drinks an unhealthy amount of coffee.
Thoughts on Brad Hallier? – “He is a great guy, but I’ve heard he has trouble running.”

Almost anytime someone walks into a class in college, they probably don’t say they are excited to be there, let alone learn something that doesn’t entirely pique their interests. That is not the case however for Matt Wilper, an economics instructor at HutchCC.

Then a student is told they must take macroeconomics or microeconomics for their major, he or she isn’t generally going say “hell yeah, let’s do this.” Odds are, it will be “why?” and come with a groan. That is where Wilper changes the game.

Wilper grew up in the Olathe area He attended college at Washburn University in Topeka, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in sociology. After, he moved on to Baker University in Baldwin City to get his Master’s in Business Administration. After this, he took some courses for a doctorate from Walden University, but did not complete it.

Wilper has been an educator for five years. The first two years, 2015-2017, at Neosho County Community College in Chanute. Then, he moved on to HutchCC for his last three years in the profession. Before that, he used his skills as a Customer Care and Education Manager at HyVee, as well as a produce manager at a small-town grocery store.

Also worth noting is that he worked part time while at Neosho County, routing deliveries and accounts payable at a furniture store.

What makes Wilper special is his ability to engage students in ways that most others do not.

“I want students to enjoy economics, that can be difficult,” he said. “So I try to play games, do activities, and have fun in class.”

This is something that truly makes his class so special, an environment where you are allowed to be yourself so that you can learn.

When asked what his favorite thing about teaching was, he said, “Students, I enjoy seeing them succeed.”

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