Outstanding New Professional Award 2015
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, '14
Morgan Shields is a scholar and advocate focused on studying the social representation of mental conditions and distress within the context of mental healthcare service delivery. She hopes to identify modifiable organizational mechanisms that could be intervened upon in order to improve quality of care and seeks to build a program of research that thoughtfully includes both service users and staff in meaningful stages of the research process.
Morgan is currently a second year graduate student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She works in the Department of Health Policy and Management as a Project Manager for research endeavors related to integrated patient care, patient-centered approaches and cultures of medical environments. For the past year, Morgan has been developing her own study, which seeks to examine the associations among organizational factors and perspectives of quality of care from both staff and service users of acute psychiatric environments. This work has involved securing financial support through both traditional mechanisms and by way of crowdsourcing. Morgan has support for this work from Dr. Sara Singer at the Harvard Chan School and Drs. Nhi-Ha Trinh and Christina Borba at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Morgan is also committed to diversity and inclusion, and especially enjoys thinking about ways to make such initiatives more inclusive and their messaging more intelligible. Morgan organized a summit at Kent State (2014) focused on discussing the experiences of those with physical disabilities, psychiatric systems and conditions, and gender and sexuality. She brought this concept to Harvard and organized a weeklong conference entitled “Different Lenses, One Vision (dLOV; 2015), with the inclusion of topics related to weight stigma and race and ethnicity. The conference was a huge success and has since garnered greater institutional support and will occur again in November of 2015. Morgan has also served as Vice President of Finance for Student Government and was invited to co-Chair the 2016 Harvard LGBTQ Conference.
At Kent State, Morgan was heavily involved in research, resulting in several independent investigations, over a dozen conference presentations at local, national, and international conferences, a thesis under Dr. Karin Coifman (published in the Journal of Health Psychology), and selection to participate in a National Science Foundation REU at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In addition, Morgan founded and directed the Peer Mentor Program in the Department of Psychological Sciences, served as President for the Psi Chi International Honor Society, and worked in the Psychology Clinic for several years. Prior to college, Morgan served in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, Pacific Region (2008-2009), during which she had service projects in Texas, California, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Some notable organizations that Morgan worked for during this time were the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Habitat for Humanity.