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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

Alumni

That's Incredible! Alum makes Essence magazine's prestigious list

Judy Ann Loveless-Morris
Judy Ann Loveless-
Morris

By Katherine Hedland '88

When Essence magazine went looking for incredible college women, they found students from Yale, Stanford, Julliard–and PLU.

One of the magazine's 10 Incredible College Women is Judy Ann Loveless-Morris '01, who was recognized for her efforts to better the lives of others. Judges chose 10 women from hundreds of applications who most embodied the spirit of academic excellence, community involvement and personal growth. She was featured in Essence's November issue after being chosen from hundreds of applications.

"It was such a blessing for me," said Loveless-Morris. "I got to be considered incredible."

She applied at the urging of others-including her PLU professors-but she didn't hear anything by the time the winners were to be announced. Then her dad mentioned that a "telemarketer" had called his house looking for her claiming she had won something. She called back, finally getting past the recorded message and was told the next day she would be featured in the magazine and receive a free trip to New York City.

"It has been a lifelong dream of mine to go to New York," Loveless-Morris said.

There, the winners were "treated like queens," taken on a shopping spree and photo shoot and introduced to celebrities like singer Alicia Keys.

Loveless-Morris went to Pierce College, and she and her husband had a son, Malachai, now 3, while students there. She transferred to PLU and completed her degree in sociology.

As a married and working mother, she didn't fit the role of a traditional PLU student. But Loveless-Morris believes she found a place at PLU.

"My professors made me feel like I belonged," she said. "They encouraged me and set aside time for me."

While at PLU, Loveless-Morris worked full-time and volunteered, on top of raising Malachai and excelling in school. As an intern at the Tacoma Public Health Department, she was instrumental in starting a Community Room that offers services ranging from immunizations to English as a second language classes. She saw the need, enlisted the help of others and found a way to fill it.

Loveless-Morris, now single, works at the Auburn (Wash.) Headstart program as a family support specialist, providing resources and training for parents of children in the low-income preschool program. She plans to put her degree and training to good use in ways that benefit society.

"I have always been for community empowerment and social justice," she said.

Being recognized for that was rewarding, she said, but most important was that it reinforced her belief that people should always take a chance and reach for what they want.

"Some people wonder why I got picked, and I'm comfortable with that because I wonder why I got picked too," she said. "I really encourage people to go out for anything, because I never in a million years thought I'd get this."



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