Although Chelsea Morgan is a senior writing/communication major at Maryville College, when she was a little girl, she “always wanted to be a doctor.” “I always enjoyed the terminology and the literature that was related to the inner and outer anatomy of the human body, and all of the gross things that go along with it,” Morgan said.
In order to pursue the path to medical school after graduation, Morgan began her first year at MC majoring chemistry. However, when she took a food and drug law course, she said that she realized a way to combine both her interest in science and her love of writing. “I wrote a huge paper on reproductive health and reproductive drug laws.
After having to read through FDA files of reactions to RU-486 — uterine rupture, hemorrhage — I got to write about it,” Morgan said. “I was like, ‘That is it. This is for me.’” This experience helped to push Morgan to change to a writing/communications major. She said that now she hopes to someday become involved with food and drug law and, most importantly, write about it. Currently, she is the editor-inchief of “The Highland Echo,” serving as an assistant editor during the previous school year.
“Writing for the Echo really rooted me into the journalistic aspect of the newspaper,” Morgan said. “But I became more interested in what the editor-in-chief was overseeing, that being all aspects of the paper with reporting, editing, managing the public relations of the paper, promoting it, making sure it’s running smoothly, as well as the photo and the online aspects of it.” A faithful reader of the print edition, Morgan said that it is a ritual for her to read the newspaper every morning, especially “The New York Times.”
“I’m married to print editions as opposed to online versions,” Morgan said. “I have this sort of worship for print on paper. It will forever, always be superior to anything I can read on a computer screen.” Her favorite journalist is David Carr from “The New York Times.” “He’s gritty and nasty and really is rooted in old-school journalism,” Morgan said. “He’s not afraid of pissing people off. He gets down to the center of what’s really there.” In addition to being a student and editor, Morgan also works full-time as a bartender at Rafferty’s in Knoxville.
“I have an offensive amount of planners for different things to remind me of when I work and when distribution is coming up and when I can expect to edit articles and when I need to pay my bills and when birthdays are and all that good stuff,” she said. Morgan said that many professors at MC served as inspiration for her writing career and supported her as she both worked and attended college, including Angelia Gibson, associate professor of chemistry and the instructor of the food and drug law course that Morgan was a student in.
“[She] really spoke to me,” Morgan said. “She made me understand my ability in writing and being able to apply it to medicine and what I love about medicine, and then marry those together.” She also said that professors in the literature department have encouraged her as she pursued writing. “Mr. Trevathan has always been my guidance in the realm of journalism and has taught me more than any book could,” Morgan said.
“And Ms. Coning, Dr. Schneibel and Dr. Battles have always been extremely supportive, and made me feel as though they were really there, cheering for me.” If she does not end up pursuing law, Morgan said that she is interested in communications and public relations, particularly for hospitals and medical facilities.
However, she said that she intends to attend graduate school, regardless of which direction she decides to take. “I dream of NYU and Cornell and all of those great places, but I’m keeping my mind open,” Morgan said. “I think I will end up where I’m supposed to be.” Morgan said that she has too many dreams and aspirations when she thinks about her future.
“Maryville College has opened my eyes to so many of my own strengths and things that I truly enjoy,” Morgan said. “I wish I had a thousand lives to live because I have all sorts of things I want to do.”