"I hope that my career will have the impact of not only keeping people safer but also showing biracial people and members of the LGBTQ+ community that they can enter jobs and be an asset to the team because of their different backgrounds not despite them."
Morgan VanderLeest is earning their bachelor’s degree in computer science through the College of Engineering. After losing their father at a young age, Morgan struggled to find their place until they discovered their love for STEM. Their experience motivated them to pursue engineering while also staying in touch with the comfort they found in books and the keen understanding they developed that everyone has a story to tell.
During the first two years of their time at the University of Michigan, Morgan was a member of the Women in Science and Engineering Residential Program (WISE RP), where they served as a peer mentor their second year. They were also a Summer Scholar this past summer for the program. Additionally, they are part of the Michigan Hackers club; now participating as a co-lead for the security team. Though pursuing their degree in a STEM field, Morgan has remained connected to their interest in and appreciation for the humanities with an additional minor in political science and learning the Korean language. They plan to use their humanities skills to bring a valuable new perspective to a career in cybersecurity. Morgan says, “I hope that my career will have the impact of not only keeping people safer but also showing biracial people and members of the LGBTQ+ community that they can enter jobs and be an asset to the team because of their different backgrounds not despite them.” Above all, Morgan hopes to make a technological and social impact with her career and degree.
Morgan’s mentors and professors describe them as a “shining example of leadership, selflessness, and professionalism” with a strong desire to be “a life-long learner and educator.” Their ability to meaningfully support others and continuously seek out growth will serve them well in their future career.
CEW+ is inspired by Morgan’s vision for their career and names them an Irma M. Wyman Scholar.