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Johanna Morales

    • Graduation Year: 2012
    • Major: Master of Business Administration
    • Hometown: Bristol, Va.
    • Activities: SIFE, speech tutor and worked with the men’s soccer team
    • Interests: Non-profit, travel, and photography

Favorite quote(s): “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” Maya Angelou
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Favorite book(s): Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Shack by William P. Young, Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (and really any Nicholas Sparks book)
Favorite music: Pop, holiday music, hip hop, country
Favorite movie(s): Million Dollar Baby, Chef, The Hunger Games, Divergent, Elf, The Grinch, Polar Express, The Passion of the Christ, 2014 Annie
Favorite past-time: Photography, traveling, college football, and spending time with my family.

What have you been doing since graduating from King? I went back to King for my MBA and graduated in 2012. During my MBA, I interned with Eastman Chemical Company in the Community Relations Department. After graduating, I got a job with United Way of Greater Kingsport as their director of community impact. Months after getting my position with United Way, I got engaged to Curtis Montgomery, whom I met during the MBA program at King. He actually proposed at the oval where we first met. (I have pictures!) While working in Kingsport, I volunteered with the Kingsport Chamber and their first Cardboard Challenge as well as sat on the board of Engage Kingsport before moving to Knoxville. I am also part of the 2014-2015 Leadership Kingsport class. Currently I work with the University of Tennessee in their alumni development office as a stewardship aide.

What are your career goals, both short- and long-term? My short-term career goals are to continue learning about higher education and the ever changing conditions that these institutions currently face. I want to use my communication-business skills to not only benefit my current employer but also the community in which I reside. My long-term goals are to continue growing in my field and one day establish a fund for Latin-American women that are first generation college students.

Have you received any awards, recognitions? Tell about your accomplishments. I received the 2014 Award of Quality-Annual Report-Non-Profit-Four or more colors from the PRSA Tri-Cities Chapter.

How do you feel King prepared you for your chosen career path? I feel King provided me with the confidence and skills needed during my first few years of employment. King’s small community allowed me to experience more aspects of a college life than larger universities would provide.

Organizational memberships? I am currently a member of PRSA and Leadership Kingsport.

What is your definition of success? To me success is leaving your mark on the world. Success isn’t measured by titles or how much money you make but knowing that at the end of the day you have done your job to the best of your abilities, and that you have done so in the grace of God.

Why did you choose King? I chose King because I liked the feeling of family. I fell in love with the sense of community and knowing that the professors would also be there to help each student individually.

What sets King apart from other schools? The location - it is a very unique place to live where you can stand in two states at the same time. The family community is something that you can’t find at other schools.

Which professors and staff members had the greatest impact on you and why? Matt Lavinder was a professor, coach, mentor and friend that really had a great impact during my time at King. Coach Lavinder was a history professor during my freshman year and his enthusiasm for teaching history made getting up for that 8 a.m. class a little easier. I also had the opportunity to work for Coach Lavinder and the men’s soccer team for three years. During those three years he was always there to talk to not only his players but his staff about what was going on. He made sure that we not only kept up our academics but also made sure we felt like a family when we were together. He showcased what it was to be a servant leader. Another professor that I greatly enjoyed was Dr. Craig McDonald during my senior year. He was my professor of History of the English Language and Grammar. This was easily one of the most challenging classes I took while at King, but Dr. McDonald was always there to help. He scheduled meetings and extra help after class for people that wanted it. He really wanted us to not just pass his class but learn. His love for English transmitted to each of us during each of his classes and even though it was one of the hardest classes I took, it was also one of my favorites.

The professors at King are one of the things that make this school so special. The professors are always there to help each student achieve their goals. The professors really want to teach so that students learn and not just to pass a class.

Were you involved in extracurricular activities at King? I worked for the men’s soccer team. I was a member of SIFE, and I was a speech tutor at the ACE.

What was your most rewarding activity and why? They were all rewarding in their own special way, but I have to say that being a member of SIFE and a speech tutor were the most rewarding. During my junior year we actually went to a school in Grundy and taught high school students the importance of going to college and being financial responsible. These were groups of kids that didn’t come from homes were these were typical topics of conversation, so knowing that I was helping them even if just for one weekend was a great experience. Being a speech tutor, I had the opportunity to work with classmates as well as high school students from the area. One high school student that I worked with was competing in a speech competition, and his mother let me know that she was nervous for him as he was a very shy student. Being able to come and practice every week with someone really helped him, and he actually won his competition!

How do you think your activities/involvements have helped to prepare you for your career goals? Being involved in so many activities while being at King helped prepare me for the real world. I had to learn time management and how to prioritize projects. It helped me learn to work in a team environment.

What is your favorite memory of King? I have many favorite memories while being a student at King. From Late Night Breakfast to basketball games, volleyball games, and of course my favorite sport soccer games to the late night study groups during exam time. My all time favorite memory of King though has to be the night I got engaged. As a freshman you always hear that if you walk around the oval more than three times with someone that is the person you will marry. (Not sure how accurate this is, but cute nonetheless.) I remember one day during our MBA program as Curtis and I walked to the library I told him this and he just giggled. The night he proposed to me he said, “Remember how you told me that if you walk around the oval three times with someone that is the person you are going to marry?” And of course I said yes, and he said “Well we have walked around this oval many times and on this night I want to ask you if you will spend the rest of your life by my side.”

Did you participate in any internships while at King? I was lucky to have various internships while being a student at King. My first internship was with United Way of Bristol TN/VA during the summer of my junior year. During this internship I was able to learn more about the non-profit world and gain experience in public speaking and design of documents. I also interned with the Mountain South World Trade Center, where I received experience in international business research, and I was able to provide assistance in planning meetings with various business leaders during a visit to Latin America. During my master’s program, I interned with Eastman Chemical Company in their community relations department. This internship gave me experience in community involvement with both for profit and not-for-profit business in the community. I also gained experience in media relations as well as event planning as I helped coordinate various community events including the annual Eastman Road Race. All these internships gave me a wide range of learning opportunities as well as teach me what it means to be a servant leader in your community.

Did you utilize the Career Services/Career Success Center at King? How was it beneficial to you? During my undergraduate career, Donna Felty was very helpful in putting me in contact with various organizations in the community for possible internships. She also provided me with information regarding possible jobs with the government and the job search process during my senior year. During my MBA, she also helped me narrow my focus on where and what I wanted to accomplish out of my required internship.

Did you attend webinars or trainings or dinners held by the Career Success Center? I attended a few of their job fairs and resume writing trainings. These events really helped give me the experience I needed prior to going out to the workforce in search of a job. These events helped me become more confident in interviews and the job search and allowed me to grow and learn in a safe environment

Do you have a message to students relative to their own journey? King University is a place where your professors are your family and the staff is your support. They are there to make sure you succeed and will do everything in their power to make sure you do so. Enjoy the extracurricular activities. Make friends. Make memories. But also, utilize the tools and services provided to you by the staff and professors as King. Reach out to alumni. Ask questions. Use your college years to explore and learn what type of leader you want to become.