NORFOLK, Neb. – Morgan Haner doesn’t have a lot of down time. In between her classes and participation in two athletic programs as a student-athlete at Northeast Community College over the past two years, she has still found time to ensure her academic journey is successful.
“I want to be able to show my brothers and sisters a path that leads to independence and success. I want them to see me accomplish it and know that they too can do it,” she said.
Throughout her time at Northeast, Haner has been the recipient of many awards and honors for her work and dedication in the classroom. She is a two-time First Team Academic All-Region recipient for volleyball and softball, was named to the Dean’s List in Fall 2019, and was named to the President’s List in Spring and Fall of 2020. Now, she has earned additional recognition in being named the TRIO SSS Student of the Month for February.
The TRIO Student of the Month award recognizes outstanding students who have been accepted into TRIO, a federally funded program that assists income-eligible individuals, first-generation college students (students who come from families where neither parent/guardian earned a four-year degree), and those with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline to post-baccalaureate programs.
Haner an active and involved member of TRIO, a former member of the Northeast volleyball team and a current member of the College’s softball team, will graduate from Northeast in May with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Accounting.
Accounting instructor Linda Miller said Haner contributes quality information to discussions and asks well-thought-out questions in class.
“As a student, Morgan is prompt in coming to class as well as completing assignments. She always has a big smile on her face, a friendly greeting to all, and works well as a team player in the classroom. Morgan is one of those students who will achieve her goals as she moves through life.”
Haner also credits other accounting faculty members, particularly Sara Barritt, with “providing constant support and always looking out for me. I received help whenever I asked, and she ensured I got what I needed to be successful.”
Softball Coach Iris Woodhead said Haner is defined by her work ethic and grit.
“Morgan strives to be a positive role model to her siblings and is doing just that! She is incredibly passionate about her career, education, and her individual betterment. This also translates onto the softball field as she is continuously looking to grow. This award is well deserved and definitely earned!”
Each month, a participating TRIO student is selected for the award based upon their work in TRIO and in other activities on campus or in the community. Award winners receive a plaque from the TRIO program and have their photo placed in the “TRIO Program Student of the Month” Achievement Recognition board.
The board, located in the TRIO office, features the theme, True Leaders. It reads, “We define true leaders as those who are first to strive and who give their all for the success of the Team. True leaders are first to see the need, envision the plan, and empower the team for action.”
Haner is part of the first cohort of students that Northeast TRIO Director Josh Becker has had the opportunity to advise and support through her college experience. He said she will be one student that he will remember fondly.
“I always felt like my role with Morgan was to stay out of the way, remind her to slow down and have fun, and to simply cheer her on. Her desire to succeed and her determination to put in more effort than anyone else has been impressive to watch,” Becker said. “I am amazed by her dedication to academics and I am so very proud to be a small part of her journey.”
Haner has a desire to remain in the Norfolk area after graduation and utilize her accounting degree in the payroll department at McMill CPAs and Advisors, where she is currently employed. She said she is grateful for the support and encouragement she has received from Northeast staff and faculty.
“TRIO has always kept me involved on campus and ensured I was aware of all the services Northeast provides. They helped teach me how to be a college student and navigate college life.”
As a first-generation college student, Haner understands the significance that her success at Northeast will potentially have on her family as she strives every day to serve as the best role model she can be for her younger siblings.
“I want to open their eyes to what is possible and allow them to be optimistic about their future.”