From Corsair to Pirate: Young grad follows her dreams

Jun 11, 2019

Morgan Banville has lived in Dartmouth since she was six.

The 22-year-old graduated on May 13 with a masters in education from UMass Dartmouth. “It’s been quite a journey,” she said.

It’s one major step towards her goal of becoming a tenured English professor at a university — a plan she’s had since the age of 12.

“It’s been a dream of mine for ten years,” Banville explained. “Ever since I was twelve, which was sixth grade, I had written that I wanted to be an English professor. And now it’s coming true!”

For her final semester, she returned to her old school — Dartmouth High, from which she graduated in 2015 — to teach a senior class as part of her master’s requirement.

According to Banville, it was a wonderful experience. “It was very interesting to see the perspective from the opposite side, because of course I was a student in the school. But to be able to teach the students was a great experience for me,” she noted.

She added that she already misses the students. “I didn’t realize how close of a relationship I would build with them over only a span of a few months,” she said.

Her bachelor’s degree — also at UMass Dartmouth — was a double major in literature and criticism and writing, rhetoric and communications.

Banville was able to graduate in just three years. “It was a lot of work,” she laughed.

She’s heading down to Greenville, North Carolina to start a PhD in rhetoric, writing, and professional communications at East Carolina University.

“I’ve actually signed my first lease,” Banville said, adding with a laugh, “I’m going from being a corsair at UMass Dartmouth to being a pirate down at UCarolina.”

“I have always wanted to teach at the university setting,” she said. “And once I went through the secondary education program and actually taught the seniors...I guess I just wanted to all the more.”

Banville’s focus during her masters was on social-emotional learning — something that she put into practice with her class of seniors at Dartmouth High.

But with interest in many various aspects of communications and education, she said, she’ll be happy to get a good job almost anywhere, as long as it’s a topic she cares about.

Banville said that she’s most passionate about balancing her own research with classroom teaching.

“That balance between my own interests and then being able to form that personal relationship with the really what my goal is,” she explained, adding “I love the writing, I love the communications. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to teach it.”

Moving to North Carolina will mark the first time Banville will be living outside of her hometown.

She says she’ll miss her family and living near the beach the most, because she loves the ocean.

But after her four-year PhD, Banville says, she’ll move to wherever she can get a tenured position doing research she loves, and stay there.

“[I’m feeling] a mixture of nerves and excitement,” she said. “But I had a friend that told me once, ‘If you’re not nervous or if it doesn’t make you scared, then it’s not worth it.’ So I’m just keeping that in the back of my mind, that this is something that is worth it.”