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The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

Staff Spotlight: Matthew Nesto

Photo by Logan Palau.
Photo by Logan Palau.

Matt Nesto is a graduate of Moravian University, class of 2016, who has been an essential part of the Alumni Office. After falling in love with the campus, Nesto decided to come back in a managerial role, overseeing several student engagement and alumni events.

What is your job title on campus? What department do you work in? 

I am the associate director of Alumni & Student Engagement.

What does your position usually entail? 

I oversee various student engagement services including Phonathon, Senior Class Gift, and Student Alumni Representatives (STARs). I am responsible for young alumni engagement, which refers to alumni who are zero to 10 years post-grad. So for this year, it’s 2014 to 2023, and that zero year is literally the alum who just graduated. Alumni engagement is something super important to me, as an alum myself. I am constantly trying to find new ways to connect alumni back to Moravian, whether it be through winery visits, attending an art show, or simply meeting back up on campus. It is important that our Golden Greyhounds, alumni who graduated 50+ years ago feel included. I am also heavily involved with the fundraising that happens on campus.

What are some of the unique challenges that come with your position?

Mainly, it’s keeping up with the new alumni classes. Every year our alumni population is growing and I am constantly trying to figure out what people like [so we can] create events that people will want to go to. Keeping up with the trends is also huge because the graduating class of 1980 is going to have very different preferences than the class of 2024.

What are your favorite aspects of working in your position?

Something like this if I am being completely honest. I absolutely love the student interactions. I have been a part of Phonathon, Senior Class Gift, and STARs for the past six years in a much more hands-on way than I am now. Before I was able to interact with students more frequently but now I really enjoy seeing the undergrads I know and have worked with become alumni. To me, that’s really the coolest part. 

What made you decide to work at Moravian?

When I came to Moravian in the fall of 2012, I was part of the baseball team. My whole intent was I’m just here to be a student-athlete and that’s it. During freshman year, I considered transferring, and I went to my parents and they said I could transfer but they wanted me to stick out the full freshman year, see the experience, and then take it from there. We ended up being very good at baseball so I decided to stay. Because it just made school a lot more fun. Then sophomore year, I just had a better time adjusting to stuff; same with junior year, and then by the time senior year came, I was like, oh my gosh, I don’t want to leave. I went from being this student who wanted to transfer, to now never wanting to leave this place.

What’s an interesting fact about yourself that most people don’t know about you?

Most people just assume I love sports, and while that is true, I am a huge LEGO nut and I have been my whole life. Literally, one of my wife’s wedding presents to me was a Star Wars Lego set. Additionally, I can probably tell you any fact about Star Wars. I even went as Darth Maul for Halloween in kindergarten.

What do you do in your free time or do you have any hobbies? 

I love baseball and still play it today; I’m actually a part of a Sunday League back home in Jersey and I play in the summer. My wife, Emily, and I love going places and doing things together, so we go to baseball games when we can because we are both huge fans. We are very big on breweries, too. I actually have a tap handle collection and whenever we go out, I always ask the bartender if they sell their handles. Emily is also a huge fan of LEGOS, specifically the Harry Potter ones, so we will build different sets together. 

Are there any interesting projects or things you are working on, even outside of your career?

Moravian has something called the Greyhound Business Directory which is a catalog of alumni-owned businesses. This includes accounting, advertising, real estate, education, and so many more. However, what we have realized is that there really isn’t a place for our artistic alumni. We have several alumni who have written books, created art, and other humanities-based content and we want to highlight their successes. The name is still a work in progress but the project idea is to create a collection for each alumni where they can show off and sell their books, paintings, and sculptures, just as the restaurant and brewery-owning alumni get to show off their successes. 

 Did you plan to work in higher education?

No, never, it was always sports for me. I was a sports management major with a history minor. Actually, not planning to work in higher education applies to a lot of my colleagues. It’s almost a running joke that none of us went to school for what we are now doing. Amanda Maenza ’13, G’ 17 was a biology major with an environmental science minor and Samantha Hickey ’23 was a business management major, and Dylan Star (West Chester) was a communication studies major with a double minor in sociology & web technology.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just something cool to know, whenever students are talking to faculty and staff through email, they should keep an eye out for a little number next to that person’s name. If there is a number that means that they graduated from Moravian. Actually, a lot of faculty and staff graduated from here and students should take advantage of the fact that they were once in your shoes. Not to say that you can’t talk to people who didn’t graduate from here, but it certainly adds an extra layer of relatability.

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