“Passion for what you are doing will go miles with helping motivate you,” says Morgan Brown, a Northampton Community College (NCC) biological science major from Easton. Her passion is grounded in understanding our oceans and how we may be able to restore damaged marine ecosystems. She is hoping to work as a field ecology researcher for a nationally recognized aquarium.
Brown says that her program has, with its generalized background, given her an excellent step up for pursuing studies in marine sciences with a focus on ecology at the University of Florida’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Moreover, NCC’s hands-on learning labs have given her the practical practice in both laboratory and field experiences.
NCC has given Brown much more than sound academics, she says. “It has helped me come more out of my comfort zone. It has empowered me to figure things out on my own and pursue things with the resources afforded me.” Her time at NCC, she adds, has taught her that she can hold her own at the head of a public forum without flinching or backing down. It helped her solidify her backbone and resolve her goals. She knows she has good people rooting for her.
“Almost everyone wants to help you,” she says to future students. “Utilize your faculty and professors. They’re there as resources to ensure that you have a successful time at NCC.” In addition, she advises, “Notes are your friend. Write things down.”
Funding college was a big obstacle for Brown and her family. The bursar helped her and her family walk through the steps of getting financial aid as well as putting her in touch with the person in charge of the scholarship program. She received the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Scholarship and the Beall Fowler Scholarship.
An important part of Brown’s life at NCC has been her participation in the Pride Club Gay-Straight Alliance, of which she is president. “The Pride Club gave me a place to be accepted and hang out with others like me without wondering whether being the whole of me would send them into a hateful rant or worse—the quiet looks of distaste,” she says. “I was given the full space to be who I was, and that helped me to see college as more than just an academic endeavor.”
To let incoming students know that they too have a place to be, whoever they are, without being ostracized or outed, Brown greets students at virtual Quadfests and organized and moderated events, representing her club.
For her work with the Pride Club Gay Straight Alliance, Brown has also won the Prism Award. Morgan’s nominator states that Morgan is the reason that Pride Club stayed active during the last year. “She constantly supports and goes to bat for trans individuals and pushes for respect and acceptance for the trans community. Through her hard work for the club and the LGBTQ+ NCC community and her efforts in just her daily life I think she’s a perfect fit.”
Brown is an inspiration for all students. “Don’t ever let difficult times cloud your goals or dampen your drive,” she says.