Dr. Inglish Morgan-Gardner
The Power of Service.
To meet Dr. Inglish Morgan-Gardner face to face is to encounter a contagious smile, generous heart, compelling discourse, and deep passion for her work. As a faculty member for Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies, Morgan-Gardner stands among a generation of 21st-century educators who meet the challenge of projecting that energy, passion, and enthusiasm to students around the world. Her commitment to motivate even reflects in the finer details, such as her email signature, which conveys the simple yet powerful phrase: “There is power in your thoughts, words, attitudes and actions!”
Her passions boil down to a single word: service.
Inglish Morgan-Gardner joined the NU Master of Public Administration program this year, bringing with her more than 25 years of experience in human services, non-profit work, and academia. She specializes in purpose-to-practice life enhancement, which she describes as “helping those I encounter discover their unique talents and empowering them to embrace their purpose in life.” Another of her specialties is multi-cultural competence, the discipline of helping people learn to interact with individuals of diverse cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds, and encouraging self-awareness and acceptance of cultural differences. At the heart of these lofty-sounding terms are human beings. “As a service provider,” she says, “I have the opportunity to position those I serve in a place of honor and respect.” Introducing her students to the “human side of service” is a focal point in her teaching.
And, she leads by example through her commitment to civic engagement. In 2013, Morgan-Gardner received the Champion Award from the Alzheimer’s Association of Rhode Island for her efforts to raise funds and increase awareness of the organization. She also served on the board of directors for Day One, helping educate the public about childhood sexual assault and providing a safe forum for victims to speak out. It was through her work at Day One that Morgan-Gardner met the late Maya Angelou, who reminded her of the power of the spoken word, reflecting, “Words, in their own right, are important and beautiful things.” This simple lesson serves as a beacon as she guides Norwich students through the online classroom experience.
As an educator, Morgan-Gardner appreciates what she calls the “immense experience and knowledge” her Norwich students bring to the classroom, and recognizes the “standard of excellence that you get from the Norwich type of community.” But even excellence can be improved upon, and she challenges all her students to “take it up a notch.”
As driven as she is in her work and service, what Morgan-Gardner’s curriculum vitae doesn’t show is that she is a wife and mother of two children. “Life doesn’t stop happening when you have work to do,” she says, citing her family as the source of strength and support that enables her to balance life and work. And she credits her own mother, a woman she calls “the most extraordinary individual,” for opening doors and breaking glass ceilings during an era when African Americans faced greater struggles in getting a quality education and advancing professionally and academically. It was that magic combination of personal drive and support that allowed her to pursue and achieve a doctorate in human services. Still, she says, it is her spiritual journey of service that gets inside her and makes her thrive.
– Audrey Seaman ’13