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Oxford Stories: UM News Anchor Prepares For Graduation

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“I try extremely hard not to take my opportunities for granted.”

Chandler Morgan, a junior broadcast journalism major from Atlanta, has been an anchor on campus at NewsWatch Ole Miss for six months, working for ESPN, “The Voice,” and CBS Sports along the way.

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Growing up in Atlanta, Morgan constantly stayed involved with her school and extracurricular activities.

“I attended a college prep school starting in Pre-K and graduated from that school in May of 2013, and I was always involved in dance, gymnastics and cheerleading growing up,” said Morgan.

Eventually, Morgan found herself enjoying performing and entertaining, which led to something bigger.

“Getting involved in those ways led to my discovery of love for on-camera reporting and broadcast journalism, but unfortunately, we didn’t have a student-run news station at my school,” said Morgan.

At Ole Miss, Morgan became interested in the journalism program and the NewsWatch broadcast on campus, but the journey wasn’t necessarily an easy one.

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“I auditioned for NewsWatch four times before I actually made the cut to become talent on the show,” said Morgan. “Anchoring for them has by far been the biggest highlight of my college career.”

Morgan’s friends say her drive makes her one of the most ambitious people they know.

“Chandler is a workaholic. That’s all there is to it,” said Chloe Riley, Morgan’s sorority sister. “She knows her strengths, and she uses them.”

Morgan spends anywhere from 5-15 hours with NewsWatch per week, not including time spent preparing stories, shooting video, interviewing sources and editing.

“I’m extremely organized with time management. One thing I have definitely seen myself develop is a system on prioritizing and knowing just how much I can get myself into at once,” she said.

Morgan’s planner, doused in pink, has hardly any blank space, with various pen and highlighter colors scattered across each page.

“I wouldn’t know what to do with my time if I wasn’t so busy, so you could say I enjoy my schedule,” she said.

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Morgan is involved in various organizations on campus, including Order of Omega Greek Honor Society, Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, Society of Professional Journalists, German Club, and Alpha Omicron Pi, where she has served two consecutive years on the Executive Recruitment Council and choreographed numerous dances for the sorority.

“She has been extremely involved for as long as I can remember. You never see her taking her time, and she’s always headed somewhere else,” said Kelsey Raymer, who is in pharmacy school at Ole Miss and a friend of Morgan’s.

Morgan worked for “The Voice” in January of this year, which she defined as “life changing.”

“The amount of skills and tools I got the privilege to experience and learn was unmatchable. That entertainment production element was very different and unique compared to a sports aspect or news in general. It was a great opportunity,” Morgan added.

Morgan said she keeps a healthy work and life balance by exercising daily, which helps her manage stress.

“I run literally every single day. I’m not kidding,” she laughed. “I only missed eight days in 2015.”

Morgan also suffers from diabetes and said her running schedule and strict diet help keep her symptoms under control.

“I was diagnosed at 11 years old, and I’m insulin resistant, so it’s important that I keep with my exercising habits to stay healthy,” she said.

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Morgan plans to graduate in December of this year, and after that, she plans to further her career in broadcast journalism elsewhere.

“Currently, I don’t have any plans of going to grad school, because with a broadcast degree, a minor in English and specialization in German and public relations, I really felt like I covered a lot of what I wanted to be educated on,” Morgan said.

Morgan has studied German since she was 11, reaching advanced fluency in fall of 2015.

“I really enjoy the language and its unique use of sounds. I studied twice in Germany, and one of those times was independently. I fell in love with the culture and ultimately really solidified my speaking of it,” she added.

In addition to her usual anchor job, Morgan recently started giving weather a try at NewsWatch.

“I really like it. It’s something I’ve really started to enjoy with practice,” Morgan said. “If I ever got that opportunity for a job or career, I’d definitely be interested in meteorology,” she said.

Morgan anchors on Wednesday at 5 p.m. for NewsWatch Ole Miss.

olivia wells

Olivia Wells can be contacted at otwells@go.olemiss.edu.

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