Joel Matheson is a first-year grad student in the Global Studies master program with his professional concentration in International Development and a Food Studies Specialization. He is joining UO from Oregon’s neighboring state, Idaho. Joel received his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Boise State University. When he graduated from BSU, he moved to Germany and lived with a host family where he learned about organic farming and volunteered on their apiary. He enjoys slow traveling, meeting people from across the world and learning about different cultures and lifestyles. Joel has lived in Ukraine and Colombia where he taught English.
Joel was a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica from 2018 to 2020 where he lived in a small farming community in the Blue and John Crow Mountains. He worked with the community members on different community development and climate smart agriculture projects. In March of 2020, due to the pandemic, he was evacuated back to the United States. He still maintains a close relationship with the rural Jamaican community and has been back to the island multiple times after his Peace Corps service. Recently, Joel organized a fundraiser to build a wheelchair ramp at the primary school in Jamaica which was completed in August 2022.