This month’s Alumni Update blog has a bit of a twist. We are featuring SPSF NWA alumnus Janet Morgan, and her daughter Dr. Elizabeth Hale Morgan.
Janet graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2008 with her Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences. She is currently working at the University of Arkansas as an Online Programs Administrator.
Elizabeth was born in Little Rock and raised in Fayetteville. She attended Hendrix College and earned a degree in anthropology and sociology. After graduating from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences she completed her residency at Shasta Community Health Center in Redding, California. Elizabeth recently started working in the Family Medicine Clinic at North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison.
Janet, how did your pursuit of a college education influence your children or other family members?
I started college, as a freshman, as my daughter started 9th grade. During our studies, we would sometimes be studying the same subjects. In the mornings, I would grab my backpack and head for campus and she would grab her backpack and head for Woodland Junior High.
Elizabeth, what impact did your mother attending college have on you?
My mother starting college when I was in high school was an eye opener for me. Sometimes, I would go to class with her just to see what it would be like for me to go to college. She made friends and formed study groups. I saw exactly what it would take to succeed as a college student. Returning to college was a turning point in my mother’s life, but it also changed mine. She made sacrifices to put her education first, and I knew I would have to do the same.
Elizabeth, what does SPSF NWA mean to you?
Single Parent Scholarship Fund of NWA means that people in our community recognize what parents like my mom go through to get their degrees. SPSF NWA makes it all possible. Without financial aid, my mother couldn’t have graduated from the U of A. Of course, she did—like I knew she would—despite College Algebra almost doing her in. Ha!
Single parents are a special breed of human – they have an ability to persevere through seemingly impossible situations with grace and pull their children through as well. It’s impressive. SPSF NWA means even more recognition for my hard-working mom and the example she set for me and others.
Janet, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment since completing your degree?
Hands down, my daughter’s academic success.
Janet, what advice would you give someone desiring to go back to school/current recipient?
Go for it! It’s only four years of higher learning. No one can take your education away from you.
Elizabeth, what would you like to say to SPSF NWA donors/supporters?
When you support SPSF NWA, you support the recipients and their children. Since my mom had a scholarship, I knew how to apply for them when it was my turn. Every single scholarship reduced my overall debt burden and now, after college and medical school, I have less loans. My mother has a degree and the pride and recognition that comes with that. My mother led by example, and SPSF NWA allowed her to do that. That may seem small, but in the long run – it matters. What you do matters… For me, for my mom, and for all the other doggedly-determined single parents and bright-eyed kids out there. Thank you, again.