Yannick Morgan has a palpable passion for life. He was born in England and immigrated to the U.S. after living in Saudi Arabia for eight years. He is a citizen of Sierra Leone since his parents are citizens of that country. After facing near-deportation last year, he has maintained his dedication to studies as an international affairs major and his firm leadership as the music director of The Accidentals, the male a cappella singing group on campus. At one point, he was involved in three different UGA musical ensembles while working three different campus jobs. He is also an Honors Student and Foundation Fellow who has traveled to the Galapagos Islands and participated in a service-learning project in Ghana. After graduation, he plans to apply to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace or try to teach English in France. Eventually, he also wants to attend graduate school.
King High School
A.B. in international affairs with minors in music and French
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
My collegiate career thus far has been absolutely amazing, but if I had to pick a few highlights the first and foremost would be being a member and director of the the UGA Accidentals, the university’s premier male a cappella group. Working with a group of such talented individuals has been my most exciting and rewarding endeavor here at the University. The guys are just a fun-loving group of college students who happen to be really gifted singers. Not only do we have a great time with each other, but we also put out a great sound. With all the hours it takes to be a successful a cappella group – rehearsing, competing and recording CD’s – there is no doubt in my mind that this group of guys is the best on campus.
Being a member of the Foundation Fellowship has also been a highlight in my collegiate career. The scholarship has afforded me the ability to travel around the world. This summer, I traveled to Ghana to work with a grassroots NGO called the Center For Job Creation and Environmental Protection in a small village outside of Cape Coast. We worked with local Ghanaians to help finish some construction on a school, dig a septic tank, process gari (the country’s main staple food), and teach children. The work was rewarding and the people were amazingly hospitable. The Fellowship also enabled me to travel to the Galapagos Islands over Spring Break, where we sailed around the islands, observing the wildlife on each island.
I am currently employed at three places on the UGA campus. First, I work at the UGA Performing Arts Center as a member of the crew. There, I work backstage and on sound and lights in the Performing Arts Center, in the Fine Arts Theatre on North Campus, and in the University Chapel. I also work at the Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Cox Center for International Mass Communications Training and Research. There I work under Lee Becker, Tudor Vlad, and several graduate students as a research clerk on graduate salary and editor hiring surveys, as well as other international projects. Finally, I work at the Office of Public Affairs. There, under Tom Jackson and Bob Taylor, we read Georgia publications, like the AJC and Athens Banner-Herald to find articles about UGA and then compile them to create a daily report of press clippings about UGA called Georgia Morning.
I chose to attend UGA because…
…I wanted to go out of state, I wanted to sing in a great a cappella group, and I got a scholarship. However, I was sold on UGA when I came up to interview for the Fellowship and quickly got lost on campus looking for Moore College. I stopped this lady walking on the sidewalk and asked how to locate the building. She started giving me directions and then said in the sweetest Georgia accent “You know what, why don’t I just take you there. It’s no trouble,” and proceeded to stop what she was doing, turn around and walk me to Moore College. Throughout the weekend, I met many more people like her, and I knew this place was for me.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
…the performing arts. Whether I’m watching a play in the Cellar Theater, enjoying a Ballroom Performance Group show, or listening to a Classic City Jazz concert in the Chapel, I’m always impressed with the level of talent here on campus. I like to go to athletic events too, especially swimming and gymnastics. Those are always fun and infused with Bulldog spirit!
When I have free time, I like…
…just taking a walk downtown, going for a swim at Ramsey, or falling asleep just about anywhere, but what I like to do best in my free time is hanging out with my friends and with my roommates at my house, the one and only Feemstead!
The craziest thing I’ve done is…
Over Spring Break 2006 in the Galapagos Islands, we sailed around the islands all night and day without docking very often. When we crossed the equator from south to north, our guide told us that it was tradition to do something crazy when crossing the equator for the first time. So, in the middle of a dark night, lit only by the moon, the passengers of the Angelique dove into the dark waters of the Pacific Ocean at the Earth’s midline. That was crazy!
My favorite place to study is…
…the top floor of the UGA Library is definitely my spot. It is host to one of the rare and treasured windows of the library and has a great view of the the stadium, South Campus, O-house and beyond.
My favorite professor is…
I actually have two favorite professors. Maurits van der Veen teaches in the International Affairs department of SPIA. He researches European economic and political integration, focusing on the role of small states and how they affect change. He challenges his students to concisely and completely reason through concepts and theories, to think them through to every counter argument and implication. He is incredibly intelligent and possesses a clarity of thought that makes complex, and intricately woven international affairs theories seem manageable. Dr. van der Veen has taught a number of my classes and sponsored some of my research in French integration and immigration. As well as being an impressive academic, Dr. van der Veen is also an accomplished marathon runner and cyclist.
My other favorite professor is Allen Crowell, the Heyward Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Studies in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. A very accomplished singer and conductor, his manner is never boastful or condescending, but always warm and generous and welcoming. He’s just an incredible musician and an all-around nice guy.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
…my older sister, Yeatie. Being born to African parents, growing up in Saudi Arabia and being immigrants in the States has given us similar world views, so she always understands where I’m coming from.
If I knew I could not fail, I would…
…sing and dance in a Broadway show. Why? Why on earth not?
After graduation, I plan to…
…work for a year or two before thinking about what form my continued education will take. I would like to apply to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace or try to teach English in France, but I’m open to suggestions. Eventually I’ll end up in grad school or law school, but not right away.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
…UGAPALOOZA. It’s the last concert for the Accidentals every year at the Morton Theatre downtown, and has sold out the past three years. It is the most a cappella fun anyone could ever have, and I love it.