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Morgan Davis '17

Cellular and Molecular Biology

Upper Room A Cappella Singer

Refining a Career Direction

Growing up in Mobile, Morgan Davis had heard about Spring Hill College over the course of her entire life. A conversation with Kerry Goff, a McGill-Toolen High School biology teacher and member of the Spring Hill College Class of 2004 piqued an interest. After visiting the campus, Morgan applied to only one college. According to Morgan, her time on The Hill has proved that this was the right decision for her.

“Spring Hill has challenged me in the best way,” she said. “I’ve grown as a person, learned how to effectively manage my time, and most importantly, I’ve learned who I am while being here.”

Morgan, whose mother worked in a microbiology lab, admits she has always loved biology and knew it was her chosen major – despite not knowing exactly what she wanted to do after graduation.

She spent her first two summers completing undergraduate research on campus with Don Culberson, PhD. This past summer, she was one of 11 students chosen to participate in a research experience for undergraduates at the University of Michigan. Her worked has not gone unnoticed — she was invited to present her research at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS) conference in South Carolina in fall 2016.

“Spring Hill has challenged me in the best way. I’ve grown as a person, learned how to effectively manage my time, and most importantly, I’ve learned who I am while being here.”

After exploring the sciences at Spring Hill, Morgan has gravitated toward cellular and molecular biology while demonstrating an aptitude for chemistry. After taking a biochemistry class offered by Allyn Schoeffler, PhD, Morgan says she “fell in love with biochemistry,” added the new drug discovery course Schoeffler was teaching the following semester to her course load, and changed her academic path to include a minor in the subject. Morgan, who says she loved her coursework in drug discovery, is now considering a career in the field.

Morgan will be participating in the graduate biomedical sciences PhD program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) after graduating from The Hill. At UAB, her emphasis will be on the study of biochemistry, stem cells, and structural biology and will require three lab rotations during the first year. As part of this experience, Morgan will be working in an infectious disease lab in the Drug Discovery department of Southern Research, a non-profit research organization in Birmingham, which is led by Spring Hill College alumnus Arthur J. Tipton, PhD. This and other opportunities presented by the doctoral program will help her decide if she would prefer a career path in teaching or research.

“I learned that working in the lab was something I enjoyed and could see myself doing every day,” she said. “It was a wonderful experience that confirmed that graduate school was what I wanted to do next.”

On The Hill, Morgan has been involved in the liturgical choir, Upper Room A Cappella singing group and the chemistry club, and she was inducted into the Beta Beta Beta National Biology Honor Society. She also graduated from Spring Hill with the highest grade point average in the Class of 2017.

“I’ve made lifelong friends and connections here at Spring Hill. My caring teachers have given me the knowledge I need to be successful and have helped me figure out what to do with my life,” she said.

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