Morgan Beck ’26

Morgan Beck is a native Rhode Islander studying Physics and Applied Mathematics, and minoring in French. Learn how Morgan’s Honors classes has helped her meet new people, challenged her critical thinking skills, and has helped spark her curiosity. 

Tell us a little about yourself: Where are you from? What drew you to URI? Are you a first generation college student?

Growing up in southern Rhode Island, I was involved with various URI events. I danced at URI basketball games, attended public lectures, and performed at the Fine Arts Center through the Southern New England Honor Band. As I was finishing high school, I applied to a lot of colleges and universities, but after visiting each campus, URI felt the most like home. One event that really got me excited about URI was speaking with members of the physics department at one of the Welcome Days. They were extremely welcoming, and I felt like we really “clicked.”

How have your Honors classes helped you integrate and “springboard” into the university and beyond? 

I took three Honors classes during my first year at URI: two physics courses and one math course. Participating in Honors was one of the major ways I met people during my first year. Unlike my other lecture classes, I was able to get to know fellow students in my Honors classes due to the small class size and group project components. I felt very comfortable asking questions in the Honors classroom setting, and lectures were much more discussion-based since the professor had more opportunity to address each student’s input. There was definitely a strong sense of class community in Honors courses. Taking Honors physics also helped me feel quickly integrated into my major department.

How has your Honors education helped you to think differently about topics within or outside of your major or other area of study? Has it introduced you to new concepts or ways of thinking? Has it changed the way you thought about an important issue? 

Participating in Honors classes allowed me to dive deep into course content, especially through group projects. When most people think of a math class, group projects aren’t the first thing that comes to mind, but the projects I did through my Honors math class got me thinking about higher-level math in a way students are not usually exposed to until 300-level classes. We worked on explaining complex math concepts through writing. As someone who likes to understand the “why” behind what they are learning, having the opportunity to look into where particular math formulas and theorems originate was something I really appreciated. In Honors physics, the class had more freedom during labs, and the professor encouraged us to really understand the reasoning behind what we were doing rather than just following a lab guide.

As you completed your Honors course(s), what are ways that you feel it helped prepare you for life after URI?

Being in the Honors program has taught me more about advocating for myself, both in class and from a university standpoint. The Honors faculty are extremely helpful and can point you toward great opportunities and resources when meeting with them. In class, professors are more than willing to answer questions because they really want you to be enthusiastic about the material. Honors classes have also exposed me to lots of group work, much of which challenged my critical thinking skills. In physics, the group projects we did showed me how the concepts we were learning apply to the real world. It gave me insight into the sort of work I might be doing one day in the field.

What are your short and long term plans post graduation?

As a rising sophomore, I do not have definite plans post-graduation, but I am interested in graduate school. I am looking forward to exploring and finding out what sparks my curiosity. Taking further Honors classes as well as completing the Honors project will be great ways to help me look more deeply into fields I am interested in.