Katrina Morgan, a doctoral student in mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has received the 2019 Boka W. Hadzija Award for Distinguished University Service.
The annual award recognizes one graduate or professional student for outstanding character, scholarship, leadership and service to UNC-Chapel Hill. The Graduate School presented the award during the 21st Annual Graduate Student Recognition Celebration, held April 4. Morgan and other students were recognized for their outstanding leadership at the Chancellor’s Awards Ceremony on April 16.
In announcing Morgan’s award on April 4, Graduate School Dean Steve Matson commended her for providing “a tremendous amount of outreach to encourage girls’ interest in STEM fields.” One of these initiatives is Girls Talk Math, a two-week summer day camp for high school girls. Morgan and Francesca Bernardi, a recent doctoral alumna, co-founded the annual camp in 2016, and it has now expanded to the University of Maryland.
In July 2017, Girls Talk Math was honored with the Association for Women in Mathematics’ first Student Chapter Award for Community Outreach. Morgan and Bernardi received the 2018 University Award for the Advancement of Women for their work.
Additionally, Morgan frequently volunteers at outreach events such as the UNC Science Expo, the InspiHER Student Club at East Chapel Hill High School and conferences for undergraduate women in mathematics. She has served as president of the UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate Mathematics Association and is currently president of the campus student chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics.
The nomination letter provided examples of her excellence in service to UNC-Chapel Hill and beyond, in research and in teaching. Morgan holds both a Dissertation Completion Fellowship within The Graduate School and a Thomas S. Kenan III Graduate Fellowship within the College of Arts and Sciences.
“She is excelling in all aspects of academic life, including independently procuring funding for many of these activities. It has been a privilege to work with her,” her nominator wrote.
Jason Metcalfe, a professor of mathematics, is Morgan’s doctoral adviser.
Boka W. Hadzija was an award-winning professor in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy; she established the award in 2000 in honor of her students. Hadzija, who died in 2013, is remembered by students and faculty for her strong mentorship, her generous support of students and her outstanding leadership.