Student Spotlight: Michelle Morris

Student Spotlight: Michelle Morris

| By: Haase, Elijah D

Career Program: Web Development & Design Specialist
Originally From: Fond du Lac
Current Residence: Greenville
Age: 43
Attended FVTC: Fall 2018-May 2022

Why did you choose Web Development & Design Specialist career program?

I chose this field of study after years of loving technology and taking information technology and management courses at Marian University in the past, as well as some self-directed online learning. I have loved art and design as well as photography for as long as I can remember. After being in charge of a website in a previous job with a non-profit, my interest in web development and design grew more, especially after my coursework started. I started out pursuing Software Development and struggled a bit with heavy back-end coding at first. When I took HTML and got some exposure to that and CSS, I decided to add Web Development and Design and am now focused specifically on that since taking Javascript/JQuery and PHP. I love it and feel so excited to shift my career in that direction in the next year as I finish school.

What are you learning about your career field that you find interesting or rewarding?

I love everything I have been learning in my Web Design and Development courses; it's so rewarding seeing some HTML and CSS code become a website. I had a couple courses that really have surprised me as well, like Speech class, which I took online during the pandemic. I always have dreaded speeches or presentations. The timing of this class allowed me to research and present some things that are really meaningful, like my informative speech about gender being more than male/female or a persuasive speech about why we need more gender-neutral restrooms. As a parent to a non-binary teenager, I have been learning so much and I am drawn to share this knowledge so my Speech class was a perfect opportunity to learn more about LGBT+ issues and share that knowledge!

Why did you choose Fox Valley Technical College?

I knew I wanted to return to school but due to some personal circumstances, I wasn't sure how I'd afford it or where I'd go. When I prepared to move to the Appleton area I attended a cool dev/coding event at FVTC and loved the vibe on campus as well as how awesome the staff was when I started seeking information. I also love that classes are small and that almost everything is available online to fit my schedule while working full-time and being a single parent. My instructors are SO helpful and awesome resources in so many ways!

How has Fox Valley Technical College helped you change your life?

The year before I started at FVTC I decided to take charge of my happiness and success in life, so I started working on myself and left my abusive marriage.  I knew I wanted to return to school to make a better life for myself and my children, not living paycheck-to-paycheck just working jobs to pay the bills but do something I love and have a real career path. That dev/coding event at FVTC was a turning point; I saw myself at FVTC and felt I was where I was meant to be.  About a year in, I signed up for the FVTC Casting Call and met with Susan Lucius in Marketing & Communications, and shared my life experience with her. She was so encouraging and inspiring to me. Bad things happen to all of us, but what we do with it moving forward, learning from our experiences, helping others... that is what matters.

What type of job do you expect to find after graduation? 

As someone with a growth mindset, I’d like to get a job that allows me to always be learning, which is part of what has drawn me to web development and design. Constant learning is required to keep up with ever-changing technology. I really enjoy the design side and front-end work I’ve learned. Seeing some HTML and CSS become a website is always amazing. I enjoy creating wireframes, mock-ups, logos, and other assets. I am also interested in user-testing and working to provide user-friendly and appealing designs. Ultimately, I am hoping someday to get involved in non-profit work or working in a college or learning environment again, benefitting our community with web development and design work. It would also be awesome to get into working for an LGBTQ-focused organization, if not for pay, as a volunteer and advocate. 

In one sentence, what's your best advice for someone who's not sure they're ready for college?

No matter your age, background, or life experiences, you can accomplish this and do what you love to do instead of working simply for a paycheck.

Pro Tips

Best on-campus place to study: Cafe or the cushy seats around the library

One class you surprisingly enjoyed: Speech

One class that challenged you: Intro to Programming

One thing every FVTC student must experience on campus before graduating: I've been primarily online but had a couple of meals on campus and highly recommend it!

Pro-tip for newcomers trying to find their way around campus: Consult the campus map on the website and don't be afraid to ask absolutely anyone for help. Everyone is SUPER helpful and friendly!