For Matt Thran '84, originally from Whippany, NJ, his decision to attend Bloomsburg significantly impacted his future. But for Matt, it wasn't just his experiences or what he learned that made the difference; it was the value of the education he received.

"To me, it's unbeatable," Matt says. "I work with many people I know who received their undergrad degrees from Yale and other ivy league schools, and I'm keeping up with them, thanks to the opportunities Bloomsburg provided me."

From professors like Jim Cole, Ph.D., in the Zoology Department, who challenged Matt to push himself, to Mark Melnychuk, Ph.D., who worked with him on a semester-long research project, to his time on the swim team where he developed the discipline to set and achieve his goals, Matt cherishes the experiences and relationships he formed while he was a student at Bloomsburg.

With their kids now grown and finished with college, Matt, and his wife Jennifer, who is also a nurse practitioner, wanted to increase their giving and focus their support on helping students study healthcare professions to create opportunities like the ones he had. So, when they learned about the new Nursing Simulation Lab at Bloomsburg, they knew exactly what they wanted to do.

As an Anesthesiologist, Matt knows how much education delivery has changed for today's students pursuing careers in the medical field. That's why he has decided to make a gift to support the Nursing Simulation Lab in Bloomsburg's College of Health Professions.

"When I graduated, I was paying about $5,100 per year," says Matt. "That cost has increased to nearly $30,000 for an out-of-state student today. With the level of education Bloomsburg students receive, it's still valuable, but it's not like it used to be, so I wanted to help in the way I thought was best."

Matt capitalized on the value of his Bloomsburg education by following in his brother Doug '77's footsteps and joining the Navy, where he received the Health Professions Scholarship, which covered the cost of medical school if he committed to four years of service.

From there, Matt continued serving as a General Medical Officer in the Navy serving on a surface ship during Operation Desert Shield. Through his continued service in the Navy, he also continued his medical training at Yale University, where he received his Board Certification in Anesthesiology and was eventually named Chief resident of the Yale anesthesiology program – one of the most prestigious programs in the country.

Matt's anesthesiology career has taken him to hospitals including Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Virginia and the Brown/Lifespan Hospital system including the Rhode Island Hospital, the Miriam Hospital, Hasbro Children's Hospital, and Newport Hospital. Along the way he completed a second residency in Internal Medicine to complement his anesthesia career. As an Assistant Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology, he is actively involved in the Brown/Lifespan Anesthesiology Residency Program serving as a clinical instructor and mentor.

Throughout his career, Matt has seen firsthand every day just how vital simulation-style learning is to young physicians and nurses entering the health care field. He even attended the Harvard Simulation Lab, where he learned how to run simulations and, more importantly, how to critique simulations to help resident physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals learn from the process and apply it immediately to their work in clinical settings.

"Seeing that Bloomsburg is investing in the future of healthcare by taking the next steps toward providing state-of-the-art simulation learning, I was immediately inspired to make a significant gift to support that," Matt adds. "This is the best way Jennifer and I feel we can make an impact at Bloomsburg today and for years to come."

In addition to supporting the Nursing Simulation Lab, Matt has also agreed to allow his gift to make an even greater impact by making it a matching gift as part of the Huskies All-In Giving Challenge on April 13-14. To help the Nursing Program reach its million-dollar goal for the Nursing Simulation Lab, Matt and Jennifer will match dollar for dollar up to $35,000!

Click here to make you gift and help Matt, Jennifer, and the Bloomsburg Nursing Program.