Morgan McCardell, a non-traditional student and student parent from Martinsburg, has earned her Regents Bachelor of Arts. A distance learner, she is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and the Mortar Board Senior Honorary.
Diagnosed with autism as an adult, she credits WVU with a new start and reaching new heights after failure to thrive at a previous institution.
The support that she has received from the University to travel abroad, an opportunity to assist with instructional responsibilities and active membership in honor societies have piqued her interests and curiosity.
As a teaching assistant for the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, she worked with her instructor to use OCR software to help create a more accessible learning environment for online students with hearing and visual impairments.
Last summer, she had the opportunity to study abroad as a Gilman Scholar at Waseda University, in Tokyo, Japan, where she studied the impact cultural ideologies can have on the quality of life and outcomes for people with disabilities.
She also volunteers her time to the Read-Aloud program for special education classrooms at her local elementary schools and spearheaded a fundraiser to purchase equipment for the sensory room at Opequon Elementary School.
McCardell received a certificate of recognition from U.S. Senator Tim Kaine for her completion of abilIT, a 12-week cybersecurity job training program that serves veterans and autistic individuals. The program is sponsored by the non-profit Melwood in Arlington, Virginia.
The diagnosis of her son's autism and her subsequent diagnosis has also fueled her passion for a graduate-level program and career that focuses on bettering the lives of individuals with disabilities. At this time, she is exploring disability studies, autism advocacy and special education.