Kevin Matthews

Editor, writer, reporter


I'm a professional listener with a background in literature

Culture under close examination

Among chemistry majors and pre-med students, Sloan Sanders '22 stands out by doing the heavy lifting. She spent the summer carting dense wooden sculptures from a storage unit on campus to Swenson Science Center and back.

Ping reader | CLU Magazine

Robberies are her favorite. When she was a new crime analyst for the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Jen LaMoure '09 tracked vehicle thefts and sex crimes. She moved on to robberies and saw that they were small in number, locally, and serial in nature.

What blotted the sun and brought the plague? | CLU Magazine

If Ilopango came for you, there was no escape. In A.D. 539 or 540, the largest volcanic eruption witnessed by humans in Central America immediately killed between 40,000 and 80,000 people and led to the death or displacement of hundreds of thousands more.

CLU Magazine
No walls in sight | CLU Magazine

One of Sandy Gonzalez's earliest memories from Aculco, Mexico, is about confinement and abandonment. She might have been 4 years old when she woke up alone at home and trapped indoors. She panicked and cried for what felt like hours until her uncle Martín finally came.

CLU Magazine
Great work of our time | CLU Magazine

This article about the global climate crisis isn't meant to scare anyone. However, since that's hard to avoid, let's compromise by pushing frightening information and dark thoughts down into footnotes (scroll down). Skip those if you're inclined, but read on here, will you?

CLU Magazine
Batman and Taylor Swift are here to protect you

Eureka moments in science, at least the legendary ones, happen in unexpected places: the bathtub, a train station, a patch of ground beneath ripening apples. So why not the supermarket checkout line? "I was flipping through a magazine.

Things I've learned: Desta Hagos '73 | CLU Magazine

Our world is balanced. We have day, night. And in the night and in the day: the same hours. Life is like that. Music is like that, too. Sometimes we are not good. But the world as a whole is good. It's arranged suitably for us.

CLU Magazine
Pastor Gerry and the troublemakers

None of them came to join a march or carry a sign. In fact, the most politically active Cal Lutheran students of the mid-1980s do not recall organizing demonstrations.

Sounds like tomorrow

An invisible choir hovers in the air behind Brett Leonard '06, wrapping around from the 3 o'clock position to 9 o'clock and high over his head, because he is a sound engineer and that is where he's put the singers.

CLU Magazine
A game plan for overtime

Born with cystic fibrosis, Scott Klein '90 was already living beyond his life expectancy when he started ice hockey at age 4. He stayed with the sport - in college, on the day after his father died, and throughout the biggest second chance of his life.

CLU Magazine
The commencements of Fortunate Hove

The sound of a door opening often wakes Fortunate Hove '11, MPPA '14, with a start. It's been that way since she was in seventh grade, the year she felt so lost that she missed Rhodesia's national school exam.

CLU Magazine
Are you going to eat that?

Maybe it's the way she pushes dietary fiber on them. For whatever reason, students assume that Theresa Rogers, an assistant professor of biology, is a vegetarian. But if they ask about it, her reply cheers the meat eaters: "I respect plants as much as I do animals."

CLU Magazine
World Class: Caroline Cottom '64

Not political as a young person, Caroline Cottom '64 woke up to the danger of nuclear holocaust in the early 1980s. With a busload of people from Nashville, she joined 1982's million-person protest in Washington, D.C., demanding an end to the Cold War arms race.

CLU Magazine
Swim captain piles on Paralympic medals

Although senior Cortney Jordan comes from a family of competitive swimmers, she was reluctant to take up the sport herself as a youngster and often thought of quitting.

CLU Magazine
Making Way for Diego

Education professor Edlyn Vallejo Peña has about 15 years to get Diego ready for college and to get college ready for Diego.

UCLA Today
'Lost Boy of Sudan' seeks to heal his homeland

It was the middle of the night when John Dau's village in Southern Sudan's Duk County was attacked and burned by men on horseback - the last time the 12-year-old would ever see some of his family members.

UCLA Today
War correspondent tells stories of ordinary people caught in chaos of war

For one member of the Baghdad household where freelance war reporter Anne Nivat was staying during a stretch of 2007-08, the key to psychological survival was a working cellular network. The woman, in her early 20s, confided in Nivat about a relationship she'd developed via text-messaging with a young man who lived across the Tigris River.

UCLA International Institute
Malcolm Kerr's Middle East

After Israel began a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip in January, Mideast analysts writing in Forbes and the Indianapolis Star separately invoked the late political scientist Malcolm Kerr to set the fresh calamities in context.

Seeking 'spatial justice' for world's disabled

"Anyone can fall into the category of becoming disabled," said Victor Pineda, a UCLA doctoral student in urban planning. "It doesn't discriminate by gender, age, race." Nor by nationality.

UCLA International Institute
A fiddle's deep roots

Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje is an international expert on things she once snubbed, with articles on gospel and spirituals and a new book on fiddling.