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Pictured is Mathew Davis, public administration alumnus and deputy fire chief for Dormont Fire Department. | Photo by Jim Judkis

Meet Mathew Davis

Job title: Deputy Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator
Employer: Dormont Fire Department
Degrees earned: B.S. in Public Administration with a concentration in Fire Service Administration, Point Park University, 2014; and Associate of Science in Fire Science Administration, Community College of Allegheny County, 2012
Hometown: Dormont, Pa.
High school: Keystone Oaks High School
Now living in: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: Ice hockey, golf and relaxing with family
LinkedIn: Mathew Davis

Why did you choose Point Park to pursue a bachelor's degree in public administration?

While completing my associate degree at the Community College of Allegheny County, I began looking for a program that would expand upon this degree. Dr. Rob Skertich told me about the public administration program at Point Park and how transferring all of my CCAC credits, along with my International Fire Service Accreditation Congress and Pro Board certifications, would be an easy process.

The other added bonus was that classes in Point Park's public administration program were set up in a hybrid format of online and on-campus classes. This made it a lot easier for someone like myself, who works shifts, to balance course work with my work schedule.

As a deputy fire chief, how have your Point Park classes helped you?

The public administration program helped me recognize the skills leaders in the fire service and EMS fields need to have to be successful. A lot of people in leadership positions don't realize that there are legal responsibilities associated with their positions. Each class within Point Park's program enforced what can be expected of a person with authority in these fields. In particular, I found the Applications of Fire Research class very helpful. Just about everything we do in fire service today is a result of extensive research.

After graduating from Point Park, I was accepted into the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program. Many of the concepts I learned at Point Park I have applied to this program.

Describe the teaching style of Point Park's public administration professors.

The professors were fantastic and incorporated a lot of hands-on experience in class to back up the information they were teaching to us. Each professor helped us relate the curriculum to our real-world experiences. They also recognized that we were working adult students and did not want to waste a second of our time. This was important because they made sure we were fully prepared to be successful out in the real world.

What advice do you have for our students balancing work and college?

My biggest piece of advice is do not fall behind in the readings and assignments. In today's world, with people having to balance family, school and multiple jobs, it can be very easy to lose focus and fall behind. As a student, you need to be honest with yourself and recognize your limitations. Taking on an extremely heavy course load while working can cause a lot of unneeded stress so strive to maintain a healthy balance between school, work and your personal life.

What are your career goals?

For now, I am going to continue completing the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. Also, I begin my quest this fall to earn an M.B.A. from Point Park. After I complete these programs, I will look to take on a greater role within the fire service field or in an emergency management agency.


More About: fire service administration, Keystone Oaks High School, public administration, Rowland School of Business, online programs, success story, transfer