Advocating for underserved clients is an attribute that defines Matthew Grigorieff. At UC Berkeley he developed a nationally recognized health program for the disability community, improved services for student veterans, and played a key role in creating political support for a student wellness fee to enhance the campus environment. He is also the principle author on several successful grant proposals for underserved populations. These efforts have been recognized by numerous awards including UC Berkeley's Oski Leadership Award, STAR Award, and multiple Spot Awards from UC Berkeley.      

Advocacy Grants (Principle Author) for Undeserved Communities

Technology and Motorized Wheelchair Research Project ($5,000). Authored a tech fee grant for the research and development of motorized wheelchairs to allow students with and without disabilities the ability to play sports together through a new universally designed pedagogical approach

UC Berkeley Crowdfund Campaign for Cal Goalball Team and Food Pantry Initiative for Students ($7,500).

Chancellor Advisory Committee on Student Services and Fees (CACSSF) Grant, 2014-2015, Project title: “Inclusive Soccer Program for Students with Disabilities,” in collaboration with the Graduate School of Education’s C.S.S.E. concentration, and several other departments ($20,000). 

Chancellor's Community Partnership Grant, 2015-2016 (renewal) Project title: “Athletics-For-All Initiative to Create at UC Berkeley the First College Competitive Sports Program for Student Athletes with Disabilities in California,” in collaboration with the Graduate School of Education’s C.S.S.E. concentration, several UC Berkeley Departments, and the local non-profit community partner BORP ($10,000). 

Chancellor's Community Partnership Grant, 2014-2015 Project title: “Athletics-For-All Initiative to Create at UC Berkeley the First College Competitive Sports Program for Student Athletes with Disabilities in California,” in collaboration with the Graduate School of Education’s C.S.S.E. concentration, several UC Berkeley Departments, and the local non-profit community partner BORP ($20,000).  

University Section Faculty Wives Club SOS Grant, 2015 Project Title: "Inclusion Project for Visually Impaired Students to Play the Sport of Goalball with Professional Nets." In Partnership with the Graduate School of Education C.S.S.E. Concentration, Disabaled Students Program and Office, and the Recreational Sports Department ($6,500). 

Innovation Grant for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity, 2011-2013, Project title: “Fitness-For-All Initiative to Serve the Health and Fitness Needs of Students with Disabilities,” in collaboration with several UC Berkeley units ($25,000).

American Cultures Engaged Scholarship (ACES) Program Grant, 2014-2015, Project title: “Developing the First Competitive Goalball Team and Class for Blind Student Athletes in the United States,” in collaboration with the Graduate School of Education C.S.S.E. concentration, several campus partners, and the local non-profit organization BORP ($2,500).

ACES Program Grant, 2012-2013, Project title: “Goalball and Disability Studies Course,” in collaboration with the Graduate School of Education C.S.S.E. Concentration, several campus partners, and the non-profit organization BORP ($5,000).

National Alliance for Accessible Golf and U.S. Golf Association Grant, 2013-2014, Project title: “UC Berkeley Program for Students and East Bay Community Members with and without Disabilities to Learn the,” in collaboration with several Departments ($15,000).    

Pepsi-Beverage Alliance Grant, 2013-2015, Project title: “Golf Fore Veterans Program to Help Student Veterans with PTSD and Physical Disabilities,” in collaboration with several UC Berkeley Departments including the Transfer and Re-entry Center for Veterans ($10,000). 

Northrup Grumman (2015), Project Title: "Employment Opportunity Program for Students with Disabilities," in partnership with the Disabled Students Union ($4,000). 

Wellness Fee Initiative (2015). Serving as the Graduate Assembly Delegate for the Graduate School of Education I designed and authored a wellness referendum to enhance student services for health care, disability accommodations, sexual assault prevention, recreational opportunities, and other needs; the referendum made UC Berkeley history by winning the largest margin of victory for a student voted fee increase ($4,054,000.00 annually). 

Advocacy Awards 

Oski Student Leadership Award: Dean’s Award for Inclusion (Individuals). UC Berkeley. Awarded the selective 'Dean's Oski Award for Inclusion' by inspiring UC Berkeley and other colleges across the nation to develop sport opportunities for that include students with disabilities. 2015

Spot Award University of California Berkeley: Awarded in recognition of creating a nationally leading sports and fitness program for students with disabilities. Achievements include recognition in the national media along with exceptional presentations at conferences to promote inclusion at other universities. 2015

STAR Award, University of California, Berkeley: awarded for substantially moving UC Berkeley toward a more inclusive environment in a sustained and exceptionally significant manner. Nominated by Vice Chancellor Gibor Basri (Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity) and Associate Vice Chancellor Ron Coley (Finance and Administration). 2012-13

SPOT Award, University of California, Berkeley: In recognition for outstanding research that secured grants that enabled the campus to become a national leader in providing health, sports, and physical activities for students with disabilities. 2014

Berkeley Achievement Award. University of California, Berkeley: "The UC Berkeley Achievement Award recognizes your exemplary achievement in demonstrating the behaviors and values that are important to UC Berkeley."

Outstanding Service Award in Service of Students with Disabilities, Irvine Valley College. Nominated by the Disabled Student Program and Services Office. 2007

Disability, Health, and Sport

Matthew Grigorieff is a known advocate at UC Berkeley for promoting the inclusion of the disability community from various roles including: graduate student researcher, undergraduate student, 2010-11 Haas Scholar, student government leader, and campus staff member. The pace setting initiatives he founded, the Fitness-for-All and Athletics-for-All projects, have substantially enhanced the health and athletic inclusion of the disability community. These efforts paved the way for UC Berkeley to development of the first college athletics program in California to include visually impaired student athletes with disabilities fully.  

More information can by found at



With over 300 student veterans attending UC Berkeley, Matthew Grigorieff created the Golf Fore Veteran program to improve their wellness; student veterans learn the game of golf from PGA instructors at the beautiful Tilden Park Golf Course while also learning about the theoretical frameworks of wellness. Theoretical concepts are brought to the forefront by using a praxis of critical reflection and practical experience. 

Sample Course syllabus


Matthew Grigorieff was instrumental in advocating for a UC Berkeley wellness initiative (pro wellness political campaign pictured left with link to website) to improve the campus environment, University Health Services, and Recreational Sport programs. In partnership with several administrative stakeholders and student government leaders the collaborative effort resulted in the passage of a new student wellness fee to support services: The political campaign won in a landslide victory.

New wellness services include expanding access to medical care, resources to prevent sexual violence, developing specific wellness programs for underserved students, and improving recreational sport opportunities. Additional funds were created to support facility alternations to support new wellness services. Matthew Grigorieff was one of the co-founding Graduate Assembly leaders that advocated and authored student government legislation to create a campus wide work group to explore the wellness initiative's feasibility.       

Additional wellness stories are available in the media section (halfway down page)

Excerpt from Daily Cal Article Entitled "Wellness Fee Referendum golden opportunity for all" by Gordon, Grigorieff, and Vivid published June 15, 2015

"Both graduate and undergraduate students overwhelmingly supported the Wellness Fee Referendum during the 2015 ASUC general elections. The margin of victory — 7,308 “yes” votes to 2,950 “no” votes — made the referendum the most widely supported monetary student fee on the ballot. The landslide passing signals wellness as a priority for students. A portion of the student fee ($54) will institutionalize a wellness referendum that aims to enhance important health services and improve facilities to support wellness. Some of the first effects of the fee include increased access to the campus’s Tang Center on the weekend with extended hours of operation, resources dedicated to sustaining the Cal Recreational Sports and the Recreational Sports Facility, improving sexual violence prevention, increased sport and fitness opportunities for students with disabilities, and improved student mental health services. In addition, the wellness referendum will encourage the campus administration to fundraise for student wellness programs.

To ensure that the fee reflects the student voice, a Wellness Referendum Fee Advisory Committee was institutionalized for the duration of the fee — the next 30 years. The committee, in which only students have voting power, will implement and oversee the project. Students and administrative stakeholders on the committee have already had their first meeting and will meet regularly to ensure that students receive the services promised during the campaign. As UC Berkeley’s Chief Financial Officer and wellness committee member Rosemarie Rae explained in an email, “The wellness program and its model are the first of their kind among the UC campuses and a powerful example of how Berkeley students and administrators can work together to drive change....."


Service on Advocacy Committees (UC Berkeley)

Disabled Student Union at Cal (DSU), Co-President (and various Executive Officer positions). 2009-15

UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly (student government) Delegate, Graduate School of Education (2014-2015).

Associated Students of University of California (ASUC) and Graduate Assembly (GA) Wellness Work Group Committee (co-founder). 2014-15

Educate the Bay Area Summit Steering Committee. 2013

University Health Services Health Fee Advisory Board (HFAB). 2013-14

Recreational Sports Board of Governors (RSBOG). 2014-15

Graduate Assembly (GA) Campus Affairs and Rules Committees, 2014-15  

Fitness-for-All Steering Committee (chair). 2012-14