Pitching the Perfect Game
Morgan Bowers, a senior Honors College student from Whitehouse, Ohio, is nearing the end of “pitching” a perfect game. As an economics major with a minor in data analytics, Morgan will graduate a year early in the spring of 2022, having only attended Kent State University for three years to earn her undergraduate business degree.
While the race to graduate early is becoming more commonplace in the higher education community, what makes Morgan stand out is that she has navigated this educational path while also fielding the position of pitcher on the Kent State’s Division I women’s softball team. And, as if that were not enough, Morgan will not only be returning to Kent State next fall to begin her Master of Arts in Economics, but she also plans to fulfill her fourth year of eligibility on the women’s softball team. Upon graduating with her master’s degree, Morgan anticipates either applying to law school or entering the workforce with a position in data analytics.
Although Morgan makes this all look easy, her plans and structure for college success all began back in high school, as a student at St. Ursula Academy in Toledo. “I took 28 CCP and AP course credits, 3 of them at the University of Toledo. The rest were AP classes taken at St. Ursula,” Morgan recalls, referring to the efforts and academic work that she completed prior to setting foot on Kent State’s campus.
Boasting a 3.8 cumulative GPA with anticipation of graduating Magna Cum Laude this May, it’s quite obvious that this student-athlete must have a few tricks up her sleeve that have led to success both on and off the field. Morgan gives some insight to her success, commenting that, “Keeping on top of your schoolwork and communicating with your professors is important, especially when you are in season because you are in and out of class a lot.”
With in-season traveling, combined with 7:00 a.m. weightlifting sessions and mid-day softball practice, there’s not much room for error in this pitcher’s schedule. Morgan comments that using a planner to keep track of big due dates for each class has been helpful. “Usually right after I get all my syllabi for the semester, I put all the due dates I have in it,” Morgan explains. “Setting a routine also helps, like going to bed around the same time, eating meals at similar times, having a designated time for homework and studying, and making sure to take at least a little bit of time each night doing something you enjoy to unwind before bed.”
Day-to-day activities can be challenging as a student-athlete, but travel season is a whole different ballgame. “A big thing when we are traveling is to start and finish work assignments as soon as possible to try and minimize what has to be done on the weekend,” Morgan states. She explains that she always tries to use her time traveling on the bus for class work and studying for exams, so that she can focus on softball and being with her team once they arrive at their game location.
Morgan’s roots and ties to Kent State run deep, all the way back to eighth grade, in fact. Morgan says that during the college recruitment process, she wanted to pick a college she loved with a great softball program. “I started coming to softball camps here in the 8th grade and pretty quickly realized I loved the campus Kent has, the big school advantages with a small school feel,” says Morgan. “The more I came to Kent and the more I learned about the school, the more I knew this is where I belonged.”
Graduating from a high school with a smaller class size, Morgan felt it was important to have a similar setting in college in order to create a smooth transition. She says that the Honors College provided this opportunity, offering smaller student to teacher ratios, compared to traditional first-year college courses. She states, “The smaller class sizes of honors classes also means that classes become more discussion based and you are able to not just get to know your classmates better, but also your professor, and down the road if you need help, it is easier to ask.” Morgan also felt that in addition to small class size, the opportunity to reside in the Honors College Living-Learning community, as well as listing herself as an Honors College graduate on her resume, were all value-added benefits.
From the initial search for the perfect college setting to fulfill her athletic and academic endeavors until now, Morgan has certainly collected an impressive list of accomplishments. She commends her time here at Kent State as a student-athlete, explaining that competing at the collegiate level teaches you many concepts including discipline, hard work and working towards a common goal with others. Morgan’s participation as the pitcher on the softball team has not only allowed her the opportunity to travel the country, but also develop friendships with her teammates which will last a lifetime. Of her time on the softball field, Morgan states, “Softball teaches you to learn how to fail and come back.”
For more information about Kent State University’s Honors College program, please visit https://www.kent.edu/honors.
For more information about the women’s softball team at Kent State, please visit https://kentstatesports.com/sports/softball.
PHOTO CAPTION 1: Honors College senior Morgan Bowers takes the mound to pitch during a Kent State University women's softball game.
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