To receive The Elford C. Morgan Award, Converse’s highest academic achievement award given to a student in the disciplines of art and sciences, would be an honor for any student. But for Gillian Gurish, the 2011 recipient, it was particularly meaningful. “I was especially honored to receive this award as it is named for the father of my major advisor and my favorite professor at Converse, Professor Charles Morgan. It was a truly special moment for me,” Gurish said.
Gurish cites the strong relationships with her professors, especially with Professor Morgan, as key to her remarkable success at Converse. “I think what surprised me most was how accessible and open the professors were – they are genuinely interested in and committed to their students’ well-being, not just their GPA, and that meant so much to me. Professor Morgan’s obvious love for his subject & his profession is absolutely infectious. We share a serious love of all things grammar – every class I took with him was a joy, and he is the reason I became an English major.” Gurish said.
“The great thing about leaving college and getting into the real world is that you see all these possibilities, so many different paths to take – and choosing which one is proving to be my greatest challenge.”
Gurish’s passions run the gamut from grammar to the “green” movement, and her remarkable drive to achieve did not stop on graduation day. In the past year she has obtained a number of prestigious internships across the country. “Initially I moved back to my home in Boston for the summer where I started an internship with Chefs Collaborative, a national non-profit network of chefs and small food producers working to change the sustainable food landscape. I discovered that my passion and love for food runs much deeper than just its preparation. I continued to intern with CC for 6 months before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ve been here since March and am currently the Grant Writing/Development intern with WiserEarth, the non-profit social network for sustainability, in essence, the “green Facebook,” Gurish explained.
No matter what the future holds, Gurish feels that Converse prepared her well for the path ahead. “The confidence and self-esteem I found at Converse is invaluable,” Gurish reflected, “The great thing about leaving college and getting into the real world is that you see all these possibilities, so many different paths to take – and choosing which one is proving to be my greatest challenge. I’m trying to focus on following my passion and accepting what life throws at me with at least a modicum of grace and gratitude.”