Morgan Calhoun ’18
Graduate school and year:
The University of Georgia, 2022
Current city and job:
Atlanta, GA | Health Policy Analyst, Novant Health
What first interested you in your career? How did you discern your calling?
Since high school, I have had an interest in human rights, public policy, and international affairs and have also been consistently involved in anti-human trafficking efforts and understanding the effects of non-government organizations (NGOs) on local populations. Once I started taking classes in the International Studies department, I learned that I could pursue a career in understanding the systemic, driving forces behind the various components of the international system.
Throughout my time at Covenant, this calling was shaped by my faculty, friends, and personal reflection on which path to take after graduation. Through the mentorship of Covenant faculty, I applied and started my PhD program in Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Georgia the fall after graduation in 2018.
What has your career path looked like since graduating from Covenant?
During my PhD program I completed internships with the International Justice Mission, the Human Rights Measurement Initiative, and external research for American Jewish World Services. While completing my PhD, I also served as the instructor of record for three undergraduate courses at the University of Georgia. I began my first full time position outside of academia with ECS Federal as a consultant and policy analyst in June 2022. I then transitioned to my new role with Novant Health as a health policy analyst in August 2023.
I love the opportunity to combine research and policy to impact real-world decision making. Oftentimes my education to this point serves as a "license" of sorts to interact with the stakeholders who influence the areas I have studied and continue to seek to comprehend through my consultant and policy work in the present.
Looking back now, how did Covenant prepare you for doctoral work and your career?
Throughout my time at Covenant, I consistently learned how all vocations work together for the common good and expanding the grace of God throughout the world. I am deeply grateful for the influence of Covenant faculty in their direct investment in my life. Aside from intense curiosity, they are the reason I chose to pursue graduate education after Covenant. One of the distinctive aspects of Covenant is the way professors treat students as individuals instead of transactions. This is not a typical experience in the current higher education environment.
Covenant undoubtedly shaped who I am today. Without Covenant, I am confident I would
not have completed my PhD nor fully comprehend the degree to which my undergraduate
education could further my understanding of God. Covenant instilled in me a sort of
intellectual humility in an environment that encouraged us to embrace open-mindedness
when considering a plurality of ideas.
I cannot emphasize enough the degree to which Covenant coursework, faculty, and community prepared me for grad school. In all honesty, several of my Covenant classes included identical readings from my graduate school courses. My Covenant education has more than prepared me for my career after graduation.
In what ways does your faith inform your career?
My faith is the motivating reason behind my career and relationships. I maintain a firm belief in inherent human rights due to my belief in every individual bearing the image of God. Without this belief, I would not have pursued the education or career I hold today. My faith informs not only the beliefs I hold but also the type of person I seek to be on a daily basis.
From the completion of my degree, to my marriage, my home, and current community I cannot help but give all glory to God. His faithfulness is the reason I am where I am today, and for that I am eternally grateful. He is truly before all things and in Him all things hold together.
What advice would you give students who are considering Covenant?
Consider what type of person you want to be on the other side of your college experience. The liberal arts education is designed to shape all aspects of your personhood, not only your brain. Be willing to consider alternate ideas about higher education and not to reduce your undergraduate education to short term gains. Also, look for opportunities to have fun! Covenant offers a multitude of ways to make friends, get outside, and maximize your four years on the mountain.
For those studying International Studies or considering graduate studies: learn to read closely and comprehend the material set in front of you. Ask questions, but not the ones you already know the answer to. Be willing to admit you are wrong and change your mind. Try to see the other's point of view. Track down every lead when it comes to job hunting and write thank you notes after interviews. Take detailed notes and listen.
Why did you choose Covenant?
I chose Covenant because of its unique offering of a rigorous academic experience combined with the emphasis on community. The opportunity to live and learn on Lookout Mountain also sweetened the opportunity.
What are some fond memories or a favorite story from your time at Covenant?
One of my favorite Covenant memories was an unintentional night hike with new friends to Sunset rock and back one Sunday evening. Despite the dropping temps and dark trek back to campus, the hike initiated what evolved into three years of friendships, laughs, and memories with the other students on the hike that evening.
I am also thankful to have participated in the Maclellan Scholars Program, which afforded me the chance to engage in the leadership cohort and travel to India with fellow Scots in 2019. These sorts of memories are quintessentially Covenant to me.
Undergraduate Departments, Majors, Minors, Certificates, Concentrations, and Programs
- Arts Administration
- Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability
- Journalism and Society
- Medical Ethics Consultation
- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
- Art, 2-D Concentration
- Art, 3-D Concentration
- Art, Art History Concentration
- Art, Graphic Design Concentration
- Art, Photography Concentration
- Art minor
- Art History minor
- Biblical & Theological Studies
- Biblical & Theological Studies, Missions Concentration
- Biblical & Theological Studies minor
- Biblical Languages minor
- History of Christianity minor
- Missions minor
- Youth Ministry minor
- Biology, Biomedical Concentration
- Biology, Environmental Concentration
- Biology, General
- Biology, Health Professions Concentration
- Biology minor
- Business, Accounting Concentration
- Business, Finance Concentration
- Business, Marketing Concentration
- Sport Management
- Business minor
- Sport Management minor
- Chemistry, Biochemistry Concentration
- Chemistry, General
- Biochemistry minor
- Chemistry minor
- Computer Science
- Computer Science minor
- Community Development
- Community Development minor
- Economics minor
- Education Studies
- Elementary Education (P-5)
- Secondary Education Certifications through MAT program
- Education minor
- Natural Science, Pre-Engineering Studies Concentration
- English, Writing Concentration
- English minor
- Writing minor
- Coaching minor
- History, Art History Concentration
- Political Science
- International Studies
- History minor
- Political Science minor
- Interdisciplinary Studies with Concentrations
- Mathematics minor
- Music, Church Music Concentration
- Music, Creative Studies Concentration
- Music, General Music Concentration
- Music, Instrumental Performance Concentration
- Music, Music Education (Pre-MAT) Concentration
- Music, Organ Performance Concentration
- Music, Piano Pedagogy Concentration
- Music, Piano Performance Concentration
- Music, Vocal Performance Concentration
- Music minor
- Philosophy minor
- Physics minor
- Pre-Law Studies
- Pre-Medical Studies
- Pre-Nursing Studies
- Pre-Physical Therapy Studies
- Psychology minor
- Sociology, Family Studies & Social Work Concentration
- Sociology minor
- Theatre minor
- French minor
- Spanish minor