Matthew Nock is the son of an auto mechanic, a Harley-Davidson aficionado, and the first member of his family to graduate from college. He’s now also a tenured member of the Harvard faculty.The newly promoted professor of psychology is one of four siblings from a blue-collar New Jersey family. Both of his brothers joined the military and eventually found work echoing their father’s: one as a mechanic and the other as a mechanical engineer who builds robots for a military contractor. Their sister, the youngest of the four, now works at Sirius Radio.Nock took his first psychology class during his last year in high school, and became “fascinated by the idea of spending my life studying human behavior.” He went on to major in psychology at Boston University (BU), graduating in 1995.“I was interested in biology and philosophy, and psychology seemed like a good marriage of the two,” Nock said. In particular, he recalls loving abnormal psychology, where he first got to study intriguing subjects such as suicide and addiction and to ask the question: Why do people do what they do?After graduation, Nock moved to New York City. But with his B.A. and no clinical work or lab experience, he found it hard to land a job in psychology.One experience Nock did have to his name, however, was as a cook: He started working in a BU cafeteria during his undergraduate years to help pay his tuition.“By the time I was a senior, I was head of the pasta program,” he said. “In fact, the only recommendation letter I got when graduating was from the pasta people.”What’s a new psychology graduate with expertise in making pasta to do? Nock started out as a busboy and then worked as a cook for Bar 6, a trendy establishment in the West Village frequented by such celebrities as Sean Penn and Marisa Tomei.While cooking or bussing tables each night, he spent his days volunteering for research jobs around the area, including at Cornell Medical School. After a stint working for a suicide hotline, he was hired part time as a research coordinator for the hotline.Between his undergraduate and graduate years, “I spent a year and a half as a cook, and a year and a half as a researcher,” Nock said with a laugh.Working for the hotline was not his first encounter with destructive behavior. During his junior year at BU, Nock spent a semester abroad in London, where he worked in a mental hospital.“I was the only male in the study-abroad psychology track that year, and so I was the one who got placed in the violent ward of the hospital,” he said.It was Nock’s first real interaction with the suicidal people he’d been studying in his abnormal-psychology classes.“The clinical staff had no clear idea why [patients] did this,” he said. “It was an incredibly challenging problem.”Nock eventually attended graduate school at Yale University. He studied suicide, self-injury, and conduct disorder, earning his degree in clinical psychology. He landed an internship at New York University’s Bellevue Hospital, working first with ER inpatients, then with adolescent patients and outpatients. It was there that Nock became increasingly interested in improving the prediction and treatment of suicidal tendencies.Nock’s current work at Harvard attempts to fill this gap between psychological research and practical psychology.“A lot of clinical treatments are not scientifically based,” Nock said. “I want to help to bring our science to bear on how suicidal people are identified and helped in the real world.”Of Harvard, Nock says he’s impressed with the commitment and pursuit of excellence generally, especially by the students.“They are smart and passionate about everything they’re doing,” he said.“I’m a Yankees fan,” he admitted, “but I’ll tolerate the Red Sox fans for the electricity of this place.”
With a 29-5 record on the season, the USC women’s volleyball team has orchestrated a near-flawless season. Stiff competition from Pac-12 rivals Stanford and UCLA notwithstanding, the five losses have merely served as blips on the radar for a club that has dominated opponents with 17 regular-season sweeps and two more in the first round of the playoffs.Peaking · Senior opposite Katie Fuller helped USC make quick work of its first two tournament opponents, beating Fairfield and St. Mary’s. – Austin Vogel | Daily TrojanNow, having already expected to reach the semifinals, the Women of Troy set their sights on the big stage with the finals just around the corner.The sixth-seeded Women of Troy head to Texas this week, set to face the unfamiliar Wichita State Shockers (24-9) on Friday night in the Austin Regional semifinal Round of 16.“If you want to use a pun, it’s a shocker — but only to those who aren’t watching, as Wichita State is on a good run the last three weeks,” USC coach Mick Haley said. “If you look at the stats, they match up with us in every category. Their setter [Chelsey Feekin] is critical for them and is the coach on the floor for them.”The Women of Troy made quick work of their first two playoff matches, easily dispatching Fairfield 3-0 in first round action (25-8, 25-11, 25-10) before fending off St. Mary’s 3-0 (28-26, 25-16, 25-19) in a much stiffer match. The victories catapulted the team to its fifth semifinal appearance in seven years and ninth overall in 12 years under Haley.The first-round match against the Stags arguably showcased the team’s most consistent effort of the season, as the Women of Troy registered 47 kills for a .518 attacking percentage while logging nine aces. Freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio christened her playoff career with a dominating performance, notching 16 kills. Senior opposite Katie Fuller and junior outside hitter Sara Shaw each recorded nine kills, while sophomore setter Hayley Crone notched 31 assists and junior libero Natalie Hagglund added 13 digs.St. Mary’s proved to be a different story altogether for the Women of Troy, who promptly began the match with an extended set but put away the final two sets to advance. Junior middle blocker Alexis Olgard inflicted significant damage defensively, recording six solo blocks (and 10 total) to go alongside six kills. The six solo blocks were the highest for USC since Emily Adams also recorded six in a November 2002 game against Stanford.The Women of Troy recorded a perfect first set with 18 kills and no errors, but still trailed 26-25. A quick Olgard kill and a crushing shot by Bricio brought up set point at 27-26. Olgard ended an expense by recording her third solo block of the frame to seal it at 28-26.The second set, while still competitive, proved less tight than the first. After a back-and-forth battle early, the Women of Troy jumped up 20-15 on a kill by freshman middle blocker Alicia Ogoms, after which an attacking error sealed the set at 25-16. The third set saw the Gaels keep pace, but the Women of Troy pushed out to leads of 19-12 and 23-16 before finishing the match on a Gael service error.“We had three hard days of practice this week,” Haley said. “We’re not just focused on winning the match, but we are also trying to get better as well.”While the Women of Troy have not played the Shockers this season and are relatively unfamiliar with the program, Haley placed particular emphasis on the need to respect any and all opponents in the playoffs.“We want our players to respect their team and coaching staff,” Haley said. “Everyone who can get to the sweet 16 can win on any given night and they are playing with nothing to lose. WS plays in a good conference. They will be ready to play and we are not looking past Wichita State.”The winner of the USC-Wichita State match will advance to the regional championship match Saturday against the winner of the Texas-Florida semifinal.
Luca Antonelli is officially a Milan player, the club have announced, after completing a move from Genoa.The defender arrives on loan until the end of the season, with a clause which means the Rossoneri can buy him for an agreed €4.5m in the summer.The Italian international has already declared that he feels like he’s coming home to Milan, and the club has now confirmed his return to the club where he started his career.“Luca Antonelli has signed a contract with Milan until June 30, 2018,” the Diavolo confirmed on their official website.“The new AC Milan defender chose the shirt number 31 at Casa Milan, and met with fans at the Museo Mondo Milan.”