Michael Morgan continues to build on his creative legacy
Just over a year ago, Campion College alumnus Michael Morgan began a new phase in his educational journey in pursuing an undergraduate degree at Bates College in Maine in the United States of America.
During this first year, Morgan went through uplifting experiences, coupled with personal challenges and a considerable adjustment to the American education system.
“With smaller classes, you are really exposed to a more intimate dialogue surrounding topics where professors encourage divergent perspectives,” Morgan said.
“I got the chance to expand my thinking on topics such as politics, the arts, and the environment. There was less rigidity surrounding grades and competitiveness and more time given to building a rounded individual keen on exploring their passion for a greater purpose,” he added.
Morgan, who, while a student at Campion College, was utilising his artistic skills to offset expenses associated with his educational journey, was awarded a US$70,000 (J$9 million)–per-year scholarship to attend Bates College.
His course of study in his first year there included politics, art, and visual culture, as well as sociology. He also began studies in French and is taking courses to prepare for a study-abroad programme in a French-speaking country during his third year.
While involved in all aspects of university life, Morgan maintained an A-minus average, and, through the Bates Center for Global Education, he was able to make one of his dreams come true by securing a summer internship at the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth Initiative.
“I was a network development intern, where I helped to develop a media marketing strategy for their global networks spanning 36 countries. Alongside my internship, I attended a six-week summer programme hosted by Bard College in Manhattan, New York, where I earned a certificate of intensive study in globalisation and international studies,” Morgan said.
In this programme, he was taught by leading experts in global studies, including professors and former senior officials from the US Department of State. “The unique courses helped me to develop a greater understanding of global politics and its impact on people’s everyday lives,” he said.
Morgan had other significant achievements in his first year, becoming the vice-president of the Environmental Coalition, as well as a staff writer for the Bates College Newspaper. He also became a member of the Bates Arts Society, as well as the Caribbean Students’ Association.
Morgan has also been nominated for a Dana Scholarship Award, where nominees are chosen by staff, faculty, and student leaders on campus. The award highlights students’ academic excellence and promise, leadership potential, and service to the college. These individuals are recognised as the intellectual leaders of their class at Bates.
Morgan, a former Clan Carthy Primary School head boy, knew from an early age that he had to make the most of his opportunities and found a way to add creativity to his life by integrating art into his daily activities.
“I have started exploring ceramics as a new art form, and I have learned how to use the pottery wheel to make functional pieces such as cups, mugs, jugs, and casseroles. I have also explored sculptural ceramics through hand-building with clay slabs,” Morgan said.
He was also the lead painter for a mural in the foyer of the Center for Global Education. The mural project, an abstract contemporary painting done using acrylic paint on canvas, is one of the first things visitors to the department see. It took about three weeks to coordinate and complete.
Morgan continues to sell prints of his work on campus and elsewhere to offset his educational expenses. “I am happy to take on new art projects. I also make and sell dinner sets, vases, and clay sculptures. For my 2D work, I make and sell pieces in ink, graphite pencil, acrylic paint, and watercolour. I also do graphic design, including logo design, business cards, and posters,” Morgan said.