Program: Speech Communication
Lauren Morgan wanted to be a teacher from the time she was 5 years old.
"I'm not sure why, but I think it was a kind of 'calling,'" she explained. "I've always loved learning and always to learn 'everything,' so working in education seemed personally satisfying.
"I also really like to be at the center of opening people to new ideas and new knowledge, so being at the head of a class engaging others in that process was equally appealing."
Morgan started out as an English major at College of DuPage. But interest in speech communication was born from several sources: a love of getting to know people; her family, which loves to talk, discuss and argue; and teachers who encouraged her. She began to compete on the speech team and taking communication classes, realizing that she wanted a double major with speech communication.
After transferring to Illinois State University, Morgan became a high school teacher, building a career as a secondary educator in both central Illinois and at Downers Grove South High school. But her thoughts never strayed from College of DuPage.
"When I was a student here, it was my dream to teach here," she said. "But it wasn't until Tuckie Pillar, a speech faculty member at COD, approached me about applying for a position at COD that my dream of teaching here was rekindled. Now, I'm living that dream.
"I hope my students take away improved competence as communicators, a better understanding of human-ness (if that's a word) and, most of all, a love of learning."
She also hopes her students learn from life itself, something she takes the time to enjoy.
"I never say I'm bored because there is so much to learn from engaging with the world around us, whether by taking time to connect with nature, reading, listening to music, seeing a live performance like a play, poetry reading or concert, watching something on TV or via the Internet, or just sitting quietly and thinking. I fear we often miss the opportunities because we are moving so fast, so I try to slow down so I can watch, listen, think and engage with others."
She also draws inspiration from her mother.
"While not a teacher, she was a big advocate for education, serving in numerous leadership positions in PTA, Camp Fire Girls and other civic groups," Morgan explained. "In some ways, I think teaching was my destiny."