“The only other person from my high school who came to Amherst was Thomas Glynn ’96,” said Matsui. “He was also a rope skipper and an important role model for me.”
Once Matsui’s jump roping days ended, she devoted herself to repairing cars. It was Glynn’s younger brother, Steve, who first sparked Matsui’s passion for auto mechanics. “He had go-carts, and ever since then I wanted to know more about cars,” said Matsui.
She became a certified auto mechanic the summer of her senior year in high school.
When she tells her friends she is a certified auto mechanic, she is met with faces of shock and disbelief. “It is such a traditional guy thing,” said Matsui. “I always get a weird response when I offer to help.”
Earlier this year, at a Williams frisbee tournament, the car she was riding in began coughing. Much to the suprise of the other people in the car, Matsui quickly diagnosed the problem.
When Matsui is not setting world records or sliding under cars, she is serving as class president, playing the piano and viola, making origami figures, double-majoring in neuroscience and English and co-chairing the Diversity Coalition.
Matsui attributes her interest in the Diversity Coalition to the different events that shaped her childhood. “The Coalition reaches out to every aspect of everday life,” said Matsui. “For me, it’s part of being an auto mechanic, of setting a world record, of stereotypes of being a woman, of being small.”