Kelsey Morgan ‘17: A Journey to a Career in the Humanities

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“I love my job because it’s a daily reminder to me that in a world dominated by technology, the humanities still have a role and I get to help ensure that.”
– Kelsey Morgan ’17


 

Ms. Kelsey Morgan is from Montgomery, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University in May 2017 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in both philosophy and English, and a minor in religious studies. Kelsey is now the Visual Communications Coordinator for Humanities Texas, a nonprofit, educational organization based in Austin, Texas. Kelsey serves the organization by managing communications through newsletters, the organization’s website, and their social media presence.

Kelsey’s Journey with the Humanities

Kelsey’s current position at Humanities Texas is the result of a winding journey through changing career goals and coming to terms with her love for the humanities. Originally convinced that she wanted to be a biology major and work in a lab, Kelsey arrived at Texas A&M and decided to pursue a degree in the humanities in the hopes of becoming a pastor. She describes her relationship with the humanities saying, “I have always excelled at math and science, but have also loved literature. It captivated me in a way that science never could. I struggled with the humanities because they required me to voice my own opinions.” Influenced by her philosophy and English curricula, Kelsey began seriously considering a career in academia. She says that it was this change in her career goals that led her to participate in the Glasscock Summer Scholars Program and the Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) Program, opportunities available through a collaboration between the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research (GCHR) and LAUNCH: Undergraduate Research, during her junior year.

How Undergraduate Research Changed Kelsey’s Career Goals

As part of the Glasscock Summer Scholars Program, Kelsey enrolled in a two-week seminar led by Dr. Nandra Perry, which focused on secular and religious conversion narratives. Kelsey’s Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) thesis was a case study of the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015, the subsequent confederate flag debate, and the ways that the media portrayal of the shooter, Dylann Roof, hindered arguments against his actions. The experiences Kelsey gained through undergraduate research provided her with connections to the Glasscock Center, where she was invited to work as an undergraduate apprentice. Kelsey says this apprenticeship “helped [her] gain confidence in [her] own thoughts and willingness to speak [her] mind.”

Kelsey’s time as an undergraduate researcher also sparked an interest in editing, as well as a desire to work in communications. “While writing my thesis, I saw a way that I could help implement the changes I was arguing for. I decided that I wanted a job in communication but still was unsure what that meant for me,” Kelsey says. Kelsey started working at the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research (GCHR), where she was given the opportunity to explore copy editing and graphic design in the context of a communications position. Like many humanities majors, Kelsey believed that she needed to go to graduate school in order to get a job with her degrees. However, looking back, Kelsey says, “My time as an Undergraduate [Research] Scholar and undergraduate apprentice [at the Glasscock Center] made me realize that graduate school was no longer a necessity for me.” It was also during her time at the Glasscock Center that she connected with her current supervisor at Humanities Texas during a professional event hosted by the Glasscock Center.

Kelsey’s Continuing Journey

Kelsey’s love for the humanities shines through when she talks about her job at Humanities Texas:

“I have found a way through communications, especially graphic design, to combine my love of art and aesthetics, with technology to promote the humanities. I feel I have found a career that combines my knack for technology and eye for precision with the fun challenges of the humanities.”

In the future, Kelsey plans to continue work for a few years and then go back to school to pursue a master’s in Integrated Marketing Communication.

Kelsey’s Advice for Freshmen and Graduating Seniors

Reflecting on her own experience, Kelsey offers some retrospective advice for freshmen and for graduating seniors:

For freshmen: “I struggled with being a liberal arts major at a school known for engineering. Everyone coming into college is uncertain about their futures, no matter how sure they may seem. The important thing is to find what you love and study that. Not what you think you should be studying, or what others tell you to study. Take every opportunity that comes your way even if it doesn’t make sense. I didn’t need to write a thesis but because I decided to, basically on a whim, my life has drastically changed for the better. I found confidence I didn’t know I had and a passion that I never would have dreamed of.”

For graduating seniors: “Keep in touch with people. Connections are one of the best resources you have. Also, don’t take a job just because it’s offered. It’s better to find a job you’re passionate about and build connections than to be working for a company you don’t believe in. Turning down a job offer is the scariest thing to a recent graduate but it’s the best thing I ever did. Saying no is okay, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should, as cliché as that sounds.”

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Written by M. Caroline Sonnier ’16, Program Assistant for LAUNCH: Undergraduate Research

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