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WWU / Fairhaven College of Interdiscipinary Studies

Matia Jones in the Outback garden

Matia Jones


Why Fairhaven?

"I wanted to study abnormal neurology within Western medical, indigenous shamanic, and Eastern medical paradigms. And I wanted to move toward a health care career that would promote social and ecological justice. There just didn’t seem to be too many colleges offering that sort of major. So I chose Fairhaven- where I could make one."

A Community, Not an Institution

"Due to the high ratio of faculty to students, it is very easy to develop good working relationships with my advisors, staff, and professors. I’ve gotten to know many of my instructors quite well. They are receptive to questions, visits, hearing my ideas, and lending me books far after I’ve finished their class. Their dedication to students makes Fairhaven feel more like a community than an institution. It is quite warm, supportive and idealistic."

Integrating WWU with the Interdisciplinary Concentration

"It is very convenient to have the resources of a large university at my fingertips. I have a strong medical component to my concentration, and having access to Western’s courses such as Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, Latin, etc. makes my Fairhaven concentration work."

Neurofeedback Independent Study Project

Advisors: Dr. John Jordy and Professor Leslie Conton

"I researched the history and applications of patient monitored and controlled brainwave activity. Then I used myself as a test subject and trained my brain to move into a low Beta wave (Sensory Motor Rhythm) and out of Delta, Theta, and Alpha. I practiced neurofeedback over the course of a quarter. I wrote a large paper detailing my research and process accompanied with graphs charting my progress. Then I incorporated my findings into several class presentations.

Beyond the Classroom: Endurance Swimming and Tango Dancing

"I’m an endurance swimmer, avid bicyclist, kayak guide, trail crew leader, student of Martin Prechtel, tango dancer, cook, wildcrafter, gardener and painter."


"More school. Then eventually, I’d like to start a holistic health school with permaculture, somatic and eco -psychology influences."

What would you tell incoming students about Fairhaven?

This school affords motivated and self-directed students a valuable springboard. I would highly recommend maintaining a strong sense of curiosity and a lot of Independent Study Projects.



photo of watering can


Matia was the Coordinator of the Community Gardens on our Outback Farm.

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