Student: Morgan Agner
Helping others is one of many passions for Morgan Agner.
Agner, a rising junior, is pursuing a degree in chemistry as well as a minor in Hispanic studies. She is an Honors College student and an undergraduate representative for the Pirates vs. Cancer club at Brody School of Medicine. Her ultimate goal is to be a physician and care for minority groups in North Carolina.
Agner said that she originally was taking Spanish as a requirement for her degree but credits her passion for the language to Sarah Tyson, a Spanish instructor at ECU. She was also nominated by Tyson to be a representative for Spanish language on the Council of Student Ambassadors for the Department of Foreign Language and Literature at ECU.
“She sparked the passion for me to have an interest in Spanish culture, and I really enjoyed learning not only the language but the culture side of it as well,” Agner said.
Following her freshman year, Agner traveled to Spain as part of the Atlantis program. During her three weeks in Spain, she shadowed doctors and became immersed in the Spanish-speaking culture. Agner credits the trip for improving her knowledge of global health care, becoming more familiar with another culture, and helping her grow as a person. As an ambassador for Atlantis, Agner has talked with ECU students about her experience and has encouraged them to apply for the program.
“I wanted to choose a Spanish speaking country for the Atlantis Program, so since traveling is my passion, medicine is my passion, Hispanic culture is my passion, why not put it all together? It was perfect and absolutely life-changing,” Agner said.
Agner is very active in Greenville as well. She serves as the community outreach coordinator with Healthy Pals, which she founded. Healthy Pals is a student-led initiative to improve the health and eating habits of kids in Greenville. Agner said that she hopes the kids carry the healthy habits they learn into adulthood. She also helps her fellow students as a chemistry tutor at the Pirate Academic Success Center.
“I really enjoy making chemistry seem easier for people; it’s so rewarding,” Agner said.
According to Agner, her experience so far at ECU has been one that she wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.
“One of the things I appreciate about ECU is the amount of support that everyone is willing to give you — no one wants to see you fail,” Agner said.
The one thing you cannot live without: good food – I believe that we live to eat, not eat to live, and that food is a love language. For me, eating traditional Vietnamese food takes me back to childhood memories at my grandma’s house, spending the summers eating her homemade food and enjoying moments with her that I will always cherish. A special tradition in my life is Sunday dinner. Not only is it a weekly opportunity to spend quality time with my entire family, but it is simultaneously done over a homecooked meal — a positive way to bring us together as well as to keep us connected.
Role model: My grandpa. His work ethic, resilience and the love he has for others inspires me every day.
Your words to live by: Work hard, play hard! In the fast-paced world that we live in today, it’s important to prioritize enjoying life and making the most of it. I believe a balanced life is the key to a happy and successful one! So, take the time to do the hobbies that you love, while still prioritizing the responsibilities of school and work.
What advice do you have for other students?: Find your passion, and run with it! Do not try to fit into a cookie cutter model of what you think is the ideal student. Instead, use your unique qualities and interests to be the best version of yourself, and the rest will all fall through.
What is something cool about ECU that you wish you knew during your first year?: There are so many helpful resources on campus that can be utilized — anywhere from study abroad services to specialized career advice. Take the time to explore them!
College: Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
Hobbies/interests: I am interested in the fashion and beauty world. I also have a strong passion for traveling to other countries and exploring new cultures, especially the food and traditions that come with them. My main hobby outside of class is volunteering and giving back to the community.
Clubs and Organizations: Healthy Pals, American Medical Student Association Club, Pre-Health Association Club, Council of Student Ambassadors for the Department of Foreign Language and Literature, and Pirates vs. Cancer.
Favorite hangout: Uptown Greenville
Favorite place on campus: New student center
Favorite place to eat: EC Pho
Favorite class: Spanish 3001, which focuses on conversational skills in Spanish
Professor who influenced you the most: Sarah Tyson. She is extremely kind and truly cares about the success of every one of her students. She fostered the love and interest I have for the Hispanic culture, and eventually encouraged me to pursue a deeper study of it by taking on a Hispanic studies minor. She also nominated me to be on the Council of Student Ambassadors for the Department of Foreign Language and Literature at ECU.
Favorite TV show: “The Office”
Favorite band/musician: Drake
Favorite movie: “A Star is Born”
Favorite website: Instagram
Dream job: Physician