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BME recent alumni Morgan Goetz won a national championship in UNC field hockey last November and graduated in May with a GPA that was one of the five highest among female student-athletes at Carolina. Although being a scholar-athlete and excelling at a high level is not easy, Morgan’s efforts paid off as she just started a PhD program in Biomedical Engineering at Harvard. Besides her talent and focused work, Morgan reached out to mentors and advisors throughout her BME undergraduate program, and those relationships have made all the difference.

In a recent Go Heels’ feature, Morgan describes how a Joint BME Department mentor, an academic advisor, and a coach helped her thrive at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and paved the way to graduate school. Morgan explains that since her sophomore year at UNC she met regularly with Dr. Frances Ligler, a renowned biochemist, bioengineer and Distinguished Professor at the Joint Biomedical Engineering Department. While Ligler helped map Morgan’s path to graduate school, BME Teaching Assistant Professor Naji Husseini made sure Morgan completed her major, and UNC Coach Karen Shelton helped her navigate athletics.

Also, Morgan has a strong motivation to pursue biomedical engineering research: “Both my sister and mom had cancer. It is something I hold near and dear to my heart. It is a lot of the reason why I want to do biomedical engineering, to look at these cancer mechanisms and try to figure them out,” she said. Morgan’s mother was diagnosed with leukemia in December of her sophomore year, and some years before that her older sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age 13. That’s why in summer 2018 Morgan interned for the National Cancer Institute and did research at Columbia University Medical Center.  In addition to her summer internship, Morgan was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, an honor society which celebrates academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. To qualify for membership, a UNC student must complete 75 hours of coursework in liberal arts and sciences with a minimum 3.85 GPA in that coursework. Congratulations Morgan, and continued success in school and athletics! To read her full Senior spotlight, visit Go Heels’ website here.


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