Morgan Kelley — Outstanding Undergraduate
B.S.E in Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Glendale, Arizona
Graduated from Xavier College Preparatory high school in Phoenix
Morgan Kelley plans to pursue a career in the energy industry, seeking to “help create a more sustainable world by optimizing either energy harvesting or storage” and “hoping to use sustainable energy technologies to reduce our carbon footprint.”
Entry into that industry will come after her pursuit of a doctoral degree in chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
That opportunity was opened up when Kelley won a Barry Goldwater Scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards supporting undergraduate students in engineering, science or mathematics who aspire to earn a doctorate.
Four years ago she little imagined this is where she would be today. Coming out of high school, her path wasn’t clear.
“My mom told me to major in chemical engineering,” Kelly says. “Without any better idea, that’s what I did.”
It turned out to be a good idea. For a student who says she was at first unsure of her academic capabilities, she has arguably overachieved.
Kelley, a student in ASU’s Barrett, the Honors College, has been selected not only as the 2016 Outstanding Graduate in Chemical Engineering but the overall 2016 Outstanding Engineering Graduate from Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
Along the way to achieving that stature, she has compiled a long list of honors for academic performance, research accomplishments and community service contributions.
Her guidance of students in an Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) effort to develop a sustainable energy system for schools in Uganda and Fiji won her an Outstanding Team Leader award and an EPICS Global Impact Award. Her team was also a semifinalist in the highly competitive national Dell Social Innovation Challenge.
Kelley’s research into oil spill cleanup techniques through the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative (FURI) led to her publishing in a prominent chemical engineering journal.
Beyond academics and research, she has served as a Fulton Ambassador — helping to promote ASU’s engineering programs to prospective students — and a counselor for the Fulton Schools’ E2 freshman engineering experience.
Amid all those achievements, one of her most memorable experiences came at the completion of her team’s senior-year engineering design project.
“Everybody had been working long hours for several days. I remember looking around the room at the people with me the morning we turned in our final project and realizing that I was in the right place at exactly the right time, doing exactly what I was meant to be doing,” she recalls. “Being able to develop that bond with my classmates has been instrumental in my success and happiness during my time at ASU.”
Kelley says if she could be granted a superpower to make her a better engineer, it would be “being crazy good at math.” For a personal superpower: “I’d love to be able to teleport and see the world.”
Other than chemical engineering, she’s enthusiastic about hiking, running, wakeboarding, and snowboarding.
“I love to be outside,” she says. “I actually didn’t apply to any graduate schools in places that did not have nice weather because I like being outside so much.”