Matt Trebek, tell us what you’ve been up to since
graduating in 2009.
After graduation, I moved to the east coast to attend Fordam
University in New York City and sampled a few different, but
related, professions. I learned to tend bar and reached out to
fellow alum Andrew Lawson ’06 for a job at the restaurant he
was then managing, Willow Road. Later in college, I worked
for Oscar Mora in floral design - something that was super
familiar because my mom owned a floral shop in Studio City
when I was at CH. I then worked as a carpenter for New World
Design, who I would later hire to build out my own restaurant.
The skills I learned at those three jobs, and of course
my experience at CH, definitely affected how I started
my own business.
Speaking of, we heard you just opened a new restaurant
in Harlem called OSO. Congratulations - tell us about it!
OSO is a Mexican street food restaurant. Our menu features
about 15 dishes as well as nine tacos a la carte. We also
house a large selection of tequila and mezcal. Senior year of
college is when things really started with the restaurant: the
initial planning, the investors, the interior design, etc. I chose
the up-and-coming Hamilton Heights/Washington Heights
area of Manhattan. After a year of gutting the old place and
building out the new, we opened in early May 2016. It’s been
fun to see all those NY alumni together at the annual NYC
Do you still keep in touch with other CH alumni?
I’ve remained close with a lot of ’09 and get together with
them often socially. I actually work with a handful of alumni,
too. Those fellow alums were key to making my vision for
OSO a reality: Alek Hannessian ’09 of Coup de Khan
curated the playlist for the restaurant; Shant Tawilian ’06
created the website and worked with me on branding;
Leanna Balaban ’09 helped me with PR; and Andrew
Lawson ’06 was always available for any advice and support.
Is there a specific CH teacher or mentor you would like to
There are many teachers that made a positive impact on me
during my time at Campbell Hall. My 8th grade Spanish
teacher Mrs. Pozzi is one that has to be mentioned. I always
appreciated the relationship that I had with her. I was a bit of a
rascal but could never get away with anything in her class. She
saw everything that happened. Pozzi gave me great life advice
along with just old-fashioned good conversation. It’s been
almost 10 years since then, and we still check in on each other
from time to time.
How would you describe Campbell Hall to someone?
Campbell Hall is my second home. My classmates really were
like family... especially those I’d been in school with since
kindergarten. My friends there encouraged me, supported
me, and helped me. There wasn’t a sort of fierce competition
between us, and I’m glad for that. CH let me try a bunch of
different things: I played football, baseball, and soccer; I
loved Mr. Nichol’s ceramics class; I was a senior mentor and
spoke to kindergarteners about the importance of being a
13-year student. CH is a place that emphasizes family
and community, and for that I’ll always be grateful.
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