November 12, 2014

LACEY, Wash. — Staff Sergeant Matthew Roth of San Diego, California, a Saint Martin’s University senior who is majoring in psychology, has been selected as the University’s sixth recipient of its America's Service Heroes Scholarship. Roth received the honor Nov. 1 before 650 guests at Gala 2014, an important fundraiser for University student scholarships that was held in Marcus Pavilion on the Lacey campus.

Endowed and awarded annually since 2009, the award is given in honor of service members who have attended Saint Martin’s University campuses in times of conflict and during peacetime.

“The America’s Service Heroes Scholarship was created to provide financial assistance to those service members and their families who have sacrificed for our nation’s well-being and security," says Radana Dvorak, Ph.D., dean of the University’s Extended Learning Division. “The ability to provide financial relief to the defenders of our culture and heritage through pursuit of higher education was the motivating force of the scholarship’s founders and supporters. We salute all of America’s Service Heroes.”

A nine-and-a-half year member of the U.S. Army, Roth enlisted as a combat medic, utilizing his experiences gained as an emergency medical technician on an ambulance and in an emergency room setting prior to enlisting in the Army. He is the son of retired Marine Corps officers, and he followed his younger brother into the Army when he learned his sibling had received orders to Iraq.

Roth’s first assignment led him to Ledward Barracks, where he served with the Blue Spaders of the 1/26 IN BN in Schweinfurt, Germany. This was also the first unit he deployed with during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006/2008. His admiration of his colleagues is readily apparent. “I can think of no other unit I would have wanted to deploy with,” says Roth. “The Blue Spaders were a band of brothers…blood brothers!”

In 2012, Roth was transferred to Madigan Army Medical Center and worked as the ward master for the medical-surgical ward, as well as the NCOIC for the Medical-Surgical Nursing Services section. He is currently a practical nurse course instructor at Madigan Army Medical Center.

Roth has been married to his wife Sydne for 14 years. They have a daughter, Holland, with another child due in March 2015. After graduation, he intends to stay with Saint Martin’s and work towards a master’s degree in counseling. Rothe’s ultimate goal is to become a child and family counselor.

“I have always had an interest in helping others but have come to realize that I would rather help as a counselor instead of as a nurse,” says Roth.

He has a Meritorious Service Medal, four Army Commendation Medals, an Army Achievement Medal, an Iraqi Campaign Medal with two stars, a Global War on Terrorism Medal, and an Army Service Ribbon. Roth also holds the coveted Combat Medic Badge and the Drivers Badge-Wheele.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washing¬ton. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedic¬tine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes nearly 1,200 under¬graduate students and 323 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Cruz Arroyo
Director, Extension Programs

Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media relations manager