Morgan Easley

Morgan Easley

Human Development and Family Science

Easley credits FACS with teaching her that "being multi-faceted is OK"


B.S.F.C.S. Human Development and Family Science, Spring 2018

Current occupation/Location

Program Analyst, United States Department of Justice, Atlanta

What has been your proudest accomplishment since graduating?

I’m proud of everything I’ve accomplished since graduation. I landed my first job post-graduation, was accepted into all three graduate schools I applied for, completed my master’s program, joined my illustrious sorority, earned some other certifications along the way and am exercising several of my networks both professionally and personally to accomplish my next set of goals. I appreciate my time in FACS the most because it taught me that being multifaceted is okay, and it gave me tools to navigate such a climate. My journey continues, and I believe the best is yet to come.

What was your favorite class in FACS?

My favorite FACS class was HDFS 3930 – Development of Intimate Relationships taught by Dr. Jennifer Gonyea.  I like to call myself a HOPEFUL romantic and thought this class would be all about love, marriage, romance, roses – all the things any romance novel or movie would have. And sure – this class delved into all those things, except with a twist or two. This class revealed a completely new lens for me to see how relationships progress, end and in some cases, rekindle. The work completed in this class required me to think critically, write concisely, and persuasively and conclude logically (with the science). Our class assignments surrounded watching a particular TV show on Netflix, and we were to critically dissect the dynamics of relationships of the couples. I enjoyed this because it allowed me the rare opportunity to watch TV (instead of simply reading a textbook), and it gave real-life application to the science and concepts we were learning in class.

Did you have a favorite – or most memorable – faculty member?

Is it weird that I have 3 most memorable? LOL. Not in any particular order, but here goes:

Dr. Melissa Kozak

The liberty of “I don’t know” and “It depends” is most memorable from my time with Dr. Kozak. This take on various topics allowed for exploration and thinking outside of the box. Dr. Kozak also encouraged me to apply to the Legislative Aide Program, which was a gamechanger to my entire undergraduate experience. 

Dr. Jennifer George

Dr. George connected the dots. She taught the classes that I feel most people don’t see value in until after the fact, such as “Diversity” and “Family Systems." I was able to connect the dots in my own family systems, which helped me navigate some major life events that were occurring during my time of taking her class. She was also a very expressive professor which made me value safe spaces and the value in creating safe spaces wherever life takes me.

Dr. Jennifer Gonyea

I will never forget the first day of class when Dr. Gonyea introduced herself to the class with a memorable way of pronouncing her name. She said, “By the end of the semester, you will all be saying – she’s gone … yay!” By midterms, this feeling was true. However, Dr. Gonyea challenged me in a way I had never been challenged academically. We had, I believe, three total exams for the course, which meant we didn’t have much leeway for low grades on either of them with the small number of assignments in total. These exams were also written exams – no multiple choice, so writing had to be paramount to express and connect the concepts learned within the allotted exam time. Despite the rigor, the class turned out to be my favorite class in FACS. It taught me a skillset that I am using in my current professional role today, and for her academic approach, I truly am appreciative.

How do you think FACS prepared you for your career success?

FACS has prepared me for a myriad of opportunities and success. FACS taught me the importance of family and culture on both fronts – professional and personal. I prioritize the things that matter to me most and it has proven to help me navigate life, in general, more easily. FACS taught me about culture, biases and how important it is to educate oneself about people, places and things that may not be familiar. Doing this can only help to promote inclusivity and kindness in all that you do. The professional work that I do involves certain legal and financial skillset that does not make it easy to deviate from, but I use some of the challenges I face to get creative and use persuasive written/verbal skills to present new perspective in response to processes that frequently (and most times vaguely) change on the government level. Thinking critically, writing concisely and communicating effectively are certainly ways FACS has prepared me to be successful.

What inspires or motivates you?

Legacy: the long-lasting impact of particular events, actions, etc. that took place in the past, or of a person’s life.

When I think about legacy, I am motivated. What legacy will I leave behind? This is a question that truly keeps me grounded and moving forward. Will the work I’ve done, the lives I’ve touched be of value and of service for my future family, for generations to come? As cliché as it sounds, I do want to leave my mark on the world. And while that may not be clear on exactly how right now, this question is what motivates me to stay focused, be intentional and staying true to my values. One of the quotes that contributes to my inspiration is by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The time is always right to do what is right.”

What advice would you give a current FACS student looking to pursue a career in your field?

If you are interested in the public sector, understand that there are usually bureaucratic challenges that may discourage you from pursuing a position or career in that field. Also, understand that there are challenges in the private sector as well. Most importantly, there will always be work that needs to be done in the world. If you feel led to do work, don’t be discouraged when challenges arise. Instead, reach out to those you trust in your network, family members, friends, etc., to navigate those challenges.  If possible, view challenges as opportunities to effect change – even if that change means imparting on someone’s life. Here are the high points of my advice:

  1. Be yourself. 

Never compromise your personal values.

  1. Do your best. 

Always do YOUR best. When you do your best, you can live with a free conscience. Comparison truly is the thief of joy, so try not to compare yourself, your work, your accomplishments, or even your downfalls with others. Own your own story and do your best.

  1. Explore and have fun!

Try not to take life so seriously. Obviously, certain things require discipline and no room for lenience. But as much as you work hard, purpose in your plans to have some fun and think about what truly matters – whether it be family, friends, experiences, etc.

Jump to top