Morgan Oneka to receive the Glenn A. Niemeyer Award
Morgan Oneka, a senior double majoring in mathematics and computer science, is one of the recipients of the 2018 GVSU Glenn A. Niemeyer Award. The undergraduate award honors well-rounded students “with demonstrated excellence in both the classroom and extra-curricular activities” and with her accomplishments in both areas, Morgan embodies the perfect candidate for this award.
Morgan is from Muskegon, MI and graduated from Mona Shores High School. When Morgan first considered selecting a major, she was undecided between mathematics (her favorite topic since she was a child), computer science (a topic she had just discovered but loved very much), and biology (which she was exposed to in 9th grade and kept learning about in her spare time). Although she settled for a mathematics and computer science double major due to time constraints, as she got more involved in her studies, she found herself being drawn to research experiences that incorporated all of these fields she loved.
Among her experiences are a project on transcriptome of bluegill at BioMath Research Experience for Undergraduates at the Florida Institute of Technology in summer 2017, a project on analyzing cell phone records to interpret movement of people in Senegal, and work in the School of Computing and Information Systems Epidemiology Research Group. She has been involved in other research projects through course and thesis work as well.
In addition to her academic work, Morgan has also been active in two student clubs whose missions she is passionate about: Women in STEM Fields and Women in Computing. She served on the executive board of the Women in STEM Fields club last year, and is currently the president of the club. She also served as the treasurer of the Women in Computing Club for two years and the advertising chair for one year prior to that, and has been instrumental in connecting members with local companies for job opportunities. Morgan also is a regular volunteer in many K-12 outreach STEM events.
Morgan most liked the sense of community at the math department at GV. She says “From my freshman year, I felt as though my professors truly cared about me and my success. Over the years I have also had the opportunity to become good friends with many of my fellow majors, through working in the Math and Stats tutoring centers, collaborating on homework, socializing in the Peer Collaboration Space, and attending conferences such as Field of Dreams and the Joint Math Meetings. The GVSU math department feels like a second family to me, and although I am excited to start my new journey at the University of Michigan, I will miss all the wonderful people I met during my four years at GVSU!”
Morgan is heading to the University of Michigan this fall for a Ph.D. in bioinformatics to achieve her ultimate goal of combining her three areas of interest: math, computer science and biology. We congratulate her for her outstanding academic accomplishments and contributions that enriched the campus and local community, and wish her the best in her future studies and projects.