Meet Matt Basinger

Matt Basinger

Hometown: Kuna, Idaho

Major: Engineering and Applied Science with a Missions focus

Early on in high school, I decided I wanted to study engineering in college. I also had a passion for music and initially wanted to double major in engineering and music so I could make pedals for electric guitars. It wasn’t until the summer before I arrived at SPU that I read a biography on Nikola Tesla. I was intrigued by his influence in the field of electrical engineering and knew I wanted to focus on electrical engineering in my studies.

Having grown up on a rural farm in Idaho, I wanted to attend a Christian university in or near a vibrant city. Seattle Pacific University checked all my boxes. I felt welcomed when I visited campus my senior year of high school.

At Seattle Pacific, my faith became my own. I grew in my understanding of God, the Bible, and God’s work in the world throughout history. In my first year, I felt called into cross-cultural mission, and through Dr. John Lindberg and Dr. Anthony Donaldson, I received important mentoring regarding overseas mission work.

Both Dr. Lindberg and Dr. Donaldson cultivated a vision for overseas mission work for an engineer-international technical service. Their mentorship was life changing and helped to launch me in a direction I will continue to pursue my entire life.

After SPU, I went to grad school and did research across Africa. Then, for a decade, I started and operated a few business as mission companies in southeast Asia focusing on engineering and off-grid electrification.

Three years ago, I pivoted to education and now direct a language school that sends recent high school graduates from Papua, Indonesia, to study at universities in the United States (including SPU).

While on a home assignment in the U.S. during the second half of 2021, I taught engineering courses at Seattle Pacific and George Fox University as an adjunct. I’ve been so grateful to my professors at SPU, especially Dr. Lindberg, with whom I reconnected with during my time as an adjunct.

My time at SPU was a season of life that was full of joy, adventure, self-discovery, and life-long memories. I am thankful for the engineering department and the impacts it has had on my life, even now as I learn new skills in teaching.

Jacinda Wiley Basinger and Matt Basinger

Young minds: Papua’s most valuable resource

Read more about the work Matt and Jacinda Wiley Basinger are doing in Papua New Guinea in SPU Stories.