The future is a tricky thing. Looking ahead, many people see themselves fulfilling personal goals or dreams. A few fortunate people discover their life’s passion early and spend time working toward a specific goal. Others find the greatest value in the journey of discovery along the way.
And that’s where CLS graduate Morgan Sowell found herself a few years ago.
“My original major at OU was Professional Writing, but some introspection during my sophomore year brought me to the conclusion that I didn’t want to be limited to one field of work after college,” she said. “I enjoy writing and editing, but I wanted a degree that would open other doors for me and provide me with opportunities to work in different fields. I weighed my options and discovered that a degree in liberal studies was the perfect fit.”
Some might say an undefined future can be a frightening thing, but that’s not how Sowell sees it.
“I believe this degree will help me to explore different career options I may not have even thought of yet and thus to find my place as a productive citizen,” said Sowell.
Her desire to explore led her to follow her love of working with animals. Small, medium or large, animals have always had a special place in Sowell’s heart and she worked for several years in a daycare and boarding facility for dogs and cats before finding her new love of working with horses.
“I’ve worked with several rescued horses during the past two summers, including two Mustangs. All of the horses were abused and neglected when they were rescued and I volunteered to work with them to increase their adoptability. They just needed to learn to trust a leader and rider and feel safe in their current surroundings.”
Now pursuing a Therapeutic Riding Instructor certification through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International, Sowell credits the interdisciplinary education she received from CLS with her ability to pursue endless possibilities.
“Five years from now I see myself teaching people to interact with and ride horses in ways that will benefit them physically and psychologically. I have always been a passionate horse person, and I have seen and experienced ‘horse medicine’ and its ability to change lives for the better. I want to share that experience with others who need it.”
Sowell’s desire to see what was out there also helped her find one of her favorite classes at CLS, Road Trip of the Mind, which she describes as a ”sort of psychological self-exploration.”
“I would recommend that class to anyone,” she said. “It really pushes students to introspect, empathize and critically apply their thoughts to various interesting topics.”
Sowell’s adventurous nature doesn’t stop at her academic choices. It permeates her outlook on life. She credits her CLS education with helping her apply an interdisciplinary approach to everything she does.
“Forming an idea or opinion about something should be done with the utmost care and studiousness. I’ve learned to question everything and not to settle on any one bit of ‘knowledge’ I may come across, as there is a plethora of different ways to view something.”
When asked about her greatest achievement, Sowell ponders philosophically about what she has accomplished so far.
“I think learning in general is one of the greatest achievements of humankind, and a befitting milestone of that achievement in my life thus far is earning my Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies at OU. I really enjoyed the process of earning my degree. The positive developments I’ve undergone as a result are priceless.”
Note: The College of Liberal Studies was renamed the College of Professional and Continuing Studies in 2017.