Community College Awareness Month Series: ESCC Student Spotlight on Jorge Morales
Jorge Morales of Greenbush is a stand-out third year student at Eastern Shore Community College. Graduating from Arcadia High School in 2014, he cites Biology as his favorite subject, and also excels as a soccer player. He started at ESCC with a focus on Liberal Arts, but he soon switched direction to science, fueled by an interest in forensic science specifically.
Many student success stories can be tied to special teachers, and Jorge quickly identifies Robin Rich-Coates as a big part of his academic accomplishments. The Associate Professor of Biology/Chemistry taught Jorge in Biology 101/102 and Chemistry 111/112, and he credits her for being passionate about her subject and always taking interest in students and making sure they understand in class. “Great” and “awesome” flow freely in his praises of Professor Rich-Coates.
Jorge also identifies Christina Duffman and her English Composition class as a favorite, and also her advising as critical to getting him through. He says he appreciates her being such a good listener and being able to provide encouragement and guidance when needed. Duffman and Rich-Coates both work with Jorge outside of class in the club setting at ESCC. As a member of both Phi Theta Kappa and the ESCC Chess Club, he has gleaned great experiences from both, traveling to conventions and tournaments. As a Chess Club member, he just returned from the 51st Annual Virginia Open in Northern Virginia where he and his team mates excelled in multiple competitions. His participation with PTK will include the highlight of attending the National Convention in Kansas City this April.
As a self-described “shy and quiet” person, Jorge has worked hard to break out of his comfort zone. He is quick to thank his Mom for help in this area: “I don’t think any of this would be happening for me without her support and encouragement in trying new things and not missing opportunities to grow.” This willingness to take a shot paid dividends when Jorge applied for an ODU Biochemistry Internship for summer 2018 at the prompting of Robin Rich-Coates, accompanied by her letter of recommendation. Opening an email in the middle of spring break, he discovered he was accepted for the honor of participating in this ten-week program where he gets free room and board on campus and a $5,000.00 stipend.
Graduating from ESCC in May, and embarking on the ODU Biochemistry Internship, Jorge’s summer of 2018 will be an eventful one. It’s followed by his entrance into VCU in late August to begin work on his Forensic Science Degree which he intends to follow with his Masters. The soft spoken Morales will also share in conversation that he is a huge car buff. It appears that in addition to that degree, he also has his sights set on a new Dodge Demon.