September 15, 2017 at 12:30pm
Dane Lisser

The Value of Hard Work: Alumni Spotlight Amanda Morgan '15

Before stepping on campus, Millikin University graduate Amanda Morgan '15 already knew the value of hard work. Her passion for wanting to learn and grow as a person has led to many achievements, previously as a student, and now as tech analyst/specialist for State Farm in Dallas, Texas.

The first in her family to go to college, Morgan has worked hard to get where she is and she's made things happen for herself because she never stopped pushing.

While in high school, Morgan was looking at attending a large university, but her English teacher encouraged her to look at a small school because of the close attention she could get from her professors. Both of her high school track and field coaches were Millikin alumni: Rob Assise '03 and Broderick Booth '04. Both encouraged her to look at Millikin University.

"I value family very much," Morgan said. "My mom and I went through a hard time financially when I was in high school, but she encouraged me to go to Millikin. I felt at home at Millikin."

While at Millikin, the Chicago native received support from her professors and several student offices, including the Career Center and Student Development. Their support helped Morgan earn her bachelor's degree, majoring in both information systems and accounting.

Amanda Morgan '15

A Long-Vanderburg Scholar, President of the Multicultural Student Council and a First-Year Experience Mentor, Morgan made a positive impact on campus, and she valued her classroom experiences, including her Tech Ventures course, taught by RJ Podeschi, assistant professor of information systems at Millikin.

"The class made me think like an entrepreneur," Morgan said. "We learned through theory and practice, making sure to understand what is the need and what is the market as an entrepreneur. It was my favorite class at Millikin."

Other faculty members played important roles during Morgan's time on campus, including Dr. Ngozi Onora, assistant professor of education, who made Morgan think outside the box during her Long-Vanderburg courses, and Dr. Kimmie Mungaray, assistant professor of accounting, who helped her understand accounting.

"They cared enough to take the time to help me understand things in a way that made sense to me," Morgan said. "I learned it was fine to ask questions and I'm willing to continue doing so. It's important to keep learning."

Now at State Farm, Morgan is making strides with the company by revamping the organization's program that trains new technology hires. She also received the Special Achievement Award for her work as a virtual collaboration lead and for her work with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) initiatives.

Reflecting back on her time at Millikin, Morgan says, "Millikin supports students when they need it most, allowing students to find out who they are, and why they are who they are. Millikin allowed me to find my MU family."

In the future, Morgan hopes to give back to Millikin through a scholarship that will help students thrive.

"I would love to support a scholarship or fund that provides for everyday essentials for students who cannot afford them," Morgan said. "I want students to be able to thrive. I also want to share my story with Millikin students, to remind them how they can find out who they are in college."