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Rich Morrison
February 2, 2022

Future Lawyer Attributes People Skills and Analytical Tools to Humanities

By the time he was in seventh grade, Rich Morrison ’22 knew that Berry was where he wanted to attend college: “Over the years, I grew to love the campus, the history of the school, the liberal arts education and the idea of being able to work on campus. Berry has always felt like the right place for me.”

Although Rich arrived with plans to major in biology and attend dental school, he switched to political science and pre-law within one month. Later that year, he added psychology to the mix. “I love human dynamics and interactions and knew that I could make a double major work,” he says.

With plans to attend the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville, Rich has no regrets about his undergraduate career. “Studying the humanities is a really cool thing!” he says. “It gives you the tools to analyze situations, form connections between both abstract and concrete concepts, articulate and defend viewpoints, understand varying perspectives and think critically about problems and solutions. The humanities make students think and understand people and the world like they never thought possible.”

An Honors student, Rich says his mentor, Associate Professor of Psychology Victor Bissonnette, championed and challenged him. “Dr. Bissonnette once motivated me in my History and Systems of Psychology class to write my research paper on jury behavior in U.S. courtrooms, which was the perfect blend between law and social and cognitive psychology. He consistently offered me feedback on my ideas … preparing me to become the writer I am today while bolstering my excitement for attending law school as a psychology major.”

Rich has also thrived in a variety of on-campus jobs through LifeWorks, Berry’s work study program. He rose to become the student director of the Office of Admission, supervising more than 50 student ambassadors and working alongside Berry admission counselors, giving campus tours and interacting with visitors. He also served as a first-year mentor, assisting a professor with a first-year seminar class for 19 Honors program students and helping them navigate their early college experiences.

“All of my LifeWorks positions have taught me time management, punctuality, communication, problem-solving, persisting through self-doubt and standing up for myself,” Rich says. “I know that my career as a lawyer will not be as difficult since I already have experience working directly with all types of people.”

Even though Rich’s college career has been stellar, he says that it wasn’t always easy — noting that he was not chosen to be a Student Orientation and Registration (SOAR) leader and first-year mentor when he initially applied.

“Life does not always work out the way you expect, and timing is never as predictable as we would like,” he notes. “But not getting those two positions ultimately led to things like student director of the Office of Admission. I was hired the second time as a SOAR leader, too, and those two things gave me extensive work experience, the ability to quickly pivot from role to role, and the opportunity to develop and strengthen bonds with people here in ways I never thought possible. These will forever be some of the greatest times in my college career.”

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