Morgan Gibbs has found the perfect balance at UGA. The Goldwater Scholar has had a laser focus on research from her first day on campus, and she also finds great enjoyment as a member of the Redcoat Band.
Honors, Awards, and Achievements
At UGA, I started participating in research my freshman year and have never looked back. I have been a member of Dr. Arthur Roberts’ laboratory for over two years now. In his lab, I study P-glycoprotein, a multidrug resistance transporter protein that is significant in cancer. My first research accomplishment was receiving the CURO Assistantship in summer 2015. Receiving that award was validation that I was on the right path and that I was pursuing something that I was good at.
The next summer, I was accepted as one of 68 into the St. Jude Pediatric Oncology Education summer internship program, where I spent a summer in Memphis, Tennessee, doing research on novel antibiotic drug leads. At St. Jude, I discovered my passion for drug design and discovery. It was an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life and that has surely shaped my career path. I returned to UGA that fall, and the Roberts lab published a paper on which I am the second author! I then won the CURO Assistantship a second time.
Most recently, I was awarded the Goldwater Scholarship in April 2017. I am so, so thrilled to be able to say that I am a Goldwater Scholar. I have worked tirelessly to accomplish my goals in research, and I am proud to say that I have finally achieved my biggest one by winning the Goldwater. The next few steps for me are a summer internship at the NIH, and hopefully a first author paper in the Roberts lab! Research has been an integral part of my life at Georgia, and I am eternally grateful for the research opportunities that the university and CURO have worked so hard to make available to undergraduates.
In addition to research, I am also involved in the Redcoat Band. I have played trombone for 11 years now, and I love it more and more every year. This past year, I served as a rank leader in the band, and I will continue to serve as one this coming year! In addition, I am also on the UGA basketball and volleyball bands, and I was in the UGA trombone choir for a year. I have made some of the most fulfilling relationships in my life through band. It’s amazing to me that people of all majors and backgrounds can come together four times a week to make music together, and I wouldn’t trade anything for running onto the field with 400 of my closest friends. Redcoats has made me who I am. It has given me leadership experience, but more importantly, it has been life training. My experience at UGA has been greatly enriched because of the Redcoat Band.
I have also served the UGA Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society as Kids ‘n’ Chem chair and currently as vice president. Kids ‘n’ Chem is a program that goes to local elementary schools and does hands-on chemistry experiments for the kids. My time with the kids was extremely important to me because I believe that more kids need to be exposed to science at an earlier age, particularly little girls. I didn’t have a program like Kids ‘n’ Chem when I was in elementary school, but had I, I may have become interested in science at a younger age. For some of these kids, this program could influence their future career choice. I felt amazed and excited to be a part of that, and as president of the club next year, I hope to help expand the program and garner more interest for the club.
Academically, I have received the Zell Miller, Charter and National Merit Scholarships in addition to CURO Assistantships and the Goldwater Scholarship. I am also a member of Blue Key and Phi Beta Kappa Honor Societies.
The University of Georgia has shaped me in countless ways, and I will forever be thankful for the opportunities my alma mater has given me to flourish and succeed, both academically and socially. This university means more to me than words can express.
I currently work for the Roberts laboratory in the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Department as a student assistant and undergraduate researcher.