Meet Morgan Lancaster, a junior from Spanish Fort, AL studying Chemical Engineering here at The University of Alabama. Throughout her undergraduate career at UA, she has remained in the Honors College, balanced her academics, particpated in many organizations, as well as even founding a sorority on campus in 2013. In her personal time, she enjoys video games, Pokemon, Fall Out Boy, and art. We admire her courage, work ethic, and awesome personality.
Hometown: Spanish Fort, AL
Class Year: Junior
Major: Chemical Engineering
Campus Involvement: Alpha Omega Epsilon Colony (Colony Founder, President: 2013-2014, Vice President: 2014- present); undergraduate research in Biology; Society of Women Engineers (Fundraising Chair: 2014- present); AICHE; UA Boxing Club
Q: What was founding a Greek organization on campus like?
A: “It was a LOT of work and very scary at first! But as I got to know my sisters better, it ended up being a very fun and exciting process. It was scary for me because it was something that was completely out of my comfort zone. I used to be extremely shy and never really spoke up, so recruiting a bunch of girls from Facebook and asking if they would like to help me start a sorority was definitely terrifying at first. However, once I got to know everyone better and once we started getting work done, I really started opening up and my personality started to flourish. My confidence also boosted, and I felt like I had made a huge accomplishment. I’m very happy I took the leap of faith to start something that I wanted. I feel like my sorority has helped me grow as a person and learn a lot about myself.”
Q: What inspired you to become a chemical engineer?
A: I started at UA as a pre-med student, but I found out my sophomore year that it was not a good fit for me. I would rather start working immediately out of college or go into research and development. With engineering, I feel like I have more flexibility with choosing a career path and a better chance of doing what I want. I can still stay in the medical field, but I can also go into pharmaceuticals, the oil and gas field, and many others. Right now, I’m very interested in working in the biomedical field and pharmaceuticals, but I also want to experience others fields. I’m also extremely interested in research and development, so graduate school also looks like a possibility for me.
Q: As you know already, STEM fields are typically dominated by men. What would be your advice for other female underclassmen and high school students about entering these fields?
A: “Don’t ever show someone that they intimidate you, and never go into it with the attitude that it’s mostly a “guy” major. Having confidence in yourself and standing your ground are key :)!”
Q: What is your spirit animal and why?
A: “Definitely Jennifer Lawrence! She’s awesome and isn’t afraid to be herself.”
Q: Favorite thing about engineering so far?:
A: “The work is grueling, but I honestly really like it once I get into it. The problems and homework are like puzzles (really difficult puzzles…), and to me that’s really fun– I like a good challenge! Another aspect I enjoy is the research side. I’m currently an undergraduate researcher in a biology lab on campus, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the work so far. Last year I got to help a PhD candidate with her research and now have co-authorship because I worked with her. If I go to graduate school, I definitely will want to get into research with either biomedical engineering or clean energy. “
Q: What do you hope to achieve after college?
A: “For my first goal, I definitely want to secure a job after college or go to graduate school for either my master’s or PhD. Another goal for me is to travel to as many countries as I can with friends and family. I also enjoy painting and drawing, and I really hope that I stick with it and improve my skills.”