Outstanding freshman

Jordan Ochoa

Philip Agee

While some students are finding difficulty summoning the energy to press “Next Episode” on Netflix, Ashli Morris has been coordinating her meetings with two planners — a small one to carry daily and a larger master planner.
Morris, a freshman broadcast journalism major from Athens, is in Army ROTC, was president of Freshmen Forum this year, and next semester will be Freshman Forum director. She is on the executive board for Chi Omega and is one of two recipients of the NAACP Outstanding Freshmen Award.
Morris was chosen from approximately 2,000 freshman students for her leadership, involvement and 4.0 GPA.
“I just wanted to be involved,” said Morris of her goals coming into college. “I want freshmen to know they can make a difference, that they have a voice.
“Freshman Forum has really given me confidence and acclimated me to the school and staff so it is less intimidating to talk to people in authority positions about making changes,” she said.
“PT and my different obligations gave me a need to be more balanced, and ROTC has taught me organization,” Morris added, referring to the ROTC physical training.
“ROTC has changed my perspective on leaders,” said Morris, who hopes to be a public affairs officer in the Army. “In high school I was in leadership positions. Here that won’t happen until I’m a junior, so I’ve had to learn to be a follower and embrace that role.”
Even as a follower, Morris has managed to excel. She is contracted with ROTC as a freshman even though cadets usually do not get contracted until they are juniors.
“Now that I work so closely with people who are in the military, it has made me value them so much more for their service. It makes me want to be as admirable to someone else as they have been for me,” Morris said.
“My inspiration is my mom,” she said of her hard work and achievements. “She raised me alone, stayed in school, and got her B.S. in nursing.
“The difference you make is directly related to the risk you are willing to take.”

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