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Tigers of the Valley: Matthew Baxley

David Perez // Photo Editor
Matthew Baxley

Food science. For some, these two words don’t sound like they belong together, provoking thoughts of your Chick-fil-A sandwich growing legs and walking away. But for junior Matthew Baxley, it’s a career and major choice of the utmost fascination.
“So I came in majoring in psychology and biology, but I met a friend who was a food science major, and just hearing about his classes and what he got to study made me also want to study [it],” Baxley said. “I guess we study what food is and how it gets made. A lot of that is the chemistry of it, so how you take milk and turn it into ice cream or butter or cheese in a plant, and even some stuff that happens once the ice cream goes into your body, the nutrition of all that.”
Recently, Baxley had the opportunity to put his classroom knowledge into use in the field, co-oping with Perdue Foods last semester in Maryland.
“I got to co-op last summer and last semester with Perdue. It was really good, I got to learn a lot about business, I got to learn what it means to work with other people and have a job eight to five every day, a very different lifestyle than the student. And of course I got to learn a lot about food science and how you process chicken,” Baxley said.
When he’s not learning about how to turn milk into ice cream, Baxley spends his time with one of Clemson’s many Christian campus ministries, the Clemson Navigators.
“We are a group of people who desire to love other people the way Jesus did,” Baxley said. “When I first came to college I met a couple of older guys who were involved in the Navigators, and they took an interest in me, and hung out with me, and helped me figure out what I was doing, and how to transition into college.”
And like all Tigers, Baxley has his own story of how he ended up at Clemson and has his own favorite moments from being a student at the university.
“Well, I think I followed a lot of people to Clemson,” Baxley said. “The high school I graduated from, I think seven or eight out of the top 10 came here, I had an older brother who was here, I had some other friends who were already there and enjoying it, so it just seemed like the best move because I knew a lot of people who were already there and enjoying it.”
“I think my favorite moment here was my freshman year, the Notre Dame game, it was monsooning, and I happened to have front row tickets to that game, and some buddies and I got to just paint up and go nuts.”

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