Matthew Wilke ’15, son of Paul and Janelle Wilke of Derby, Kan., was honored with the Outstanding Major in Sociology and Anthropology and the Outstanding Service to Student Life awards during Honors Day in May at North Central College.
Matthew graduated from North Central in June and majored in sociology with minors in music and leadership. He is a graduate of Derby High School.
At North Central, Matthew was a junior representative for the Sociology Search Committee, a member of the Alpha Kappa Delta international sociology honor society, participated as the Chaplin Search Committee student representative and worked as a Resident Assistant from 2012 to2014. He also served as the president of the United Methodist Student Organization. Adding to his leadership roles, Matthew served as a worship leader for a campus chapel called Focus, participated in the Distinguished Leaders program, organized events for Anti-Hate Week, sang in the Chamber Singers ensemble and led a Relay for Life team.
Matthew also studied abroad in Israel and Palestine where he attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While taking classes, he conducted original research and later wrote his College Scholars Honors thesis titled, “The Righteous Resistance: Why Christians Engage in Peace Activism and Non-Violent Resistance in Jerusalem and Palestine.” Matthew also presented a TED Talk titled, “The Power of Place,” which focused on the use of religious landmarks by activists in Palestine, giving momentum to their movement.
Matthew is attending Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., where he received the school’s highest scholarship award, the Bishop Scholarship, and is involved in its Urban Fellowship, a group working to solve urban problems.