Inaugural Michael Gallagher Scholarship Winner Announced

Journalism Major Morgan McGrath Hopes to Carry on Alumnus's Legacy By Living With a Global Mindset

Senior journalism major Morgan McGrath has been awarded the inaugural Michael J.  Gallagher II Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was established in late 2020, in memory of Kent State College of Communication and Information alumnus Michael John Gallagher II, who died suddenly two days after his 24th birthday.  

The Gallagher family wanted to honor their son, brother and friend and carry on his legacy by helping other students complete their college education. Michael believed it is “our job to see new places and talk about them,” ensuring that everyone has an understanding of the world around them.  

Scholarship winner McGrath, who studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, and has multiple roles in Kent State Student Media, embodies these global characteristics and looks forward to using this scholarship to help represent diverse groups of people and understanding a variety of different cultures. 

“Being ‘global’, in my opinion, means representing diverse groups of people and trying to empathize and understand their cultures, lifestyles, etc. I believe that travel is one of the most effective tools for learning, and following graduation, I would love to either move abroad or work as a travel writer to tell others’ stories,” McGrath said. 

Her desire to view life with global mindset mirrors how Michael lived. He once said: 

“I believe being global is important because every day we live on this planet should be filled with asking questions, starting conversations, and learning about others. And if we are so lucky to have the chance to hop on a plane and explore a new region of the world, then we are truly blessed. Being global is about discovery and enjoying the journey rather than the place.” 

McGrath has had work published in The Lennon Wall magazine at Anglo American University while she was studying abroad in Prague, and she works as a feature writer and photographer for She also had the opportunity to write for Akron Life magazine through an internship program. McGrath’s love for the written word and her work for many different communities are just a few ways she plans to honor Michael’s legacy. 

“I plan to honor Michael by trying to be a kindhearted person just like him. I understand he cared deeply about helping others, and his selfless nature was something I hope to emulate in all of my present and future endeavors,” McGrath said. “I am honored to have been chosen for this award, and I hope to follow in Michael’s footsteps by fighting for marginalized communities and working towards social change on an international scale.  

Michael’s friends and family honor Michael each Monday on social media through the hashtag #MichaelMonday. If you are interested in donating to the Michael J. Gallagher II Memorial Scholarship:

Click here to donate

UPDATE: We are grateful to announce that the Michael J. Gallagher II Memorial Scholarship reached its campaign goal and was honored by having the most number of unique donors during Kent State's annual Giving Tuesday event. This is a testament to Michael's legacy and the lives he touched, and it also has secured the Gallagher Scholarship an additional $2,500 from the university. This will continue the work of helping promsing students stay in school. To all those who donated, thank you so very much.

POSTED: Monday, September 20, 2021 11:00 AM
UPDATED: Friday, December 09, 2022 04:04 PM
Annie Zwisler, '21