In Class Interview

MIDDLETOWN, Pa – World peace is what leads one college student to change from politics to publishing.

When he started his college career in 2002, Matt Toth wanted to be a political science major. “I enjoyed watching the television show West Wing. I enjoyed the collaboration.” Once Toth got to college, he took several poly-sci courses but didn’t enjoy the arguing, he was turned off by it.

Due to his interest in politics, it was suggested that he join the newspaper team at Harrisburg Area Community College. They needed someone to write about the political angle. A fellow student reporter, Gloria Long, is the person whom Toth acknowledges guided him into the job. “She really psyched me up to take on a position at the paper. A difficult job because it wasn’t a position I had any interest in doing.” said Toth. “But, I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I’m a bit nosy. The two combined pushed me towards the field of journalism.”

He got the writing bug. One of his first assignments, he was coerced by his HACC teammates into reaching out to Bob Woodward about an article about George Bush. “An experienced professor had his personal cell phone number, but didn’t think I would really make the call. I did, I made the call. What was the worst he could do?” said Toth. Turns out Woodward polity declined his interview, but it was noted as one of the most memorable things to happen to Toth since he started in the field. “How many people can say they actually spoke to Bob Woodward?”

Toth has enjoyed writing since he was a young boy. At the age of five he rode a train with his parents at the Portage railroad station. The train ride had a Charles Dickens theme, and that ride stayed with him for years. When he was a few years older, in third grade, he was asked to write a story in school about his most memorable experience. He wrote about Dickens, and the railroad ride he took a few years before.

He credits his dad for his love of reading. Comic books are where he started. “My dad got me into comics at a young age.” From there he moved on to writing. He currently has a book in the works. It’s a series of short stories, but as of today has not been published.

His love of writing isn’t selfish. He writes to inspire people. He hopes to open people’s eyes to the problems in the world to ultimately allow them to find peace with each other. A big challenge for 30 year old Toth, but he believes he is up for the task. He ultimately wants to work or a national paper.

He currently resides in Hummelstown and attends Penn State Harrisburg where he is a communications major. Because he works full time and attends school, his journey is taking him longer than expected. He anticipates graduating in December of 2014. He knows he will eventually reach his goal of helping people while having fun in journalism. “My ultimate goal is world peace, doesn’t everyone want that?” says Toth.