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60 Years of Stories! Vicky Morris

“I was the first person in my family to go to college - no aunts, uncles, cousins, nobody. I was going in alone. I remember sitting in those huge lecture halls thinking, ‘What am I doing?’ But I relied on my teachers and that’s how I got through. If I had to put my finger on one thing that has made STLCC successful, it’s the relationships, and maintaining those friendships. Those networks are vital to our success. We care about the students in front of us.”

~Vicky Morris, IT project manager, 1982 graduate, St. Louis Community College-Meramec


In high school, Vicky Morris knew she would go to college, and she knew she’d be the first in her family to do so. She wanted to be a dentist, but her dad told her the family could not afford to finance her education. After considering affordability, accessibility and a program that fit her skillset, she found her place at St. Louis Community College at Meramec in the dental lab technology program. 

Vicky Morris, dental lab technology class, STLCC-MeramecMorris was immersed in the curriculum in the first semester, taking 19-credit hours and attending class more than eight-hours a day, even in the summer. She learned the biology of dentistry, the manual dexterity to create dental appliances, and mastered the ability to design dental crowns to look just like the rest of the teeth.

Yet, in the beginning, she felt lost and overwhelmed. She remembers sitting in the back of a lecture hall wondering what she was doing. 

“There was no one in my family who knew about college, I was going in alone,” Morris said. “My dad handed me a blank check and said, ‘Here, go pay for your classes.’ I didn’t even know how to register.”

However, she received guidance from campus faculty. She met the program director, Karen Godwin, who helped her through the culture of the program, and small things such as when and how to turn in assignments. To this day, Godwin and Morris are friends.  

“I had a lot of great teachers, and a lot of people who cared,” said Morris. “I couldn’t go home and say, ‘Hey, how do I do this?’ I relied on my teachers and that’s how I got through.”

Morris graduated in 1982, earning an Associate of Applied Science, then worked in a lab creating dental appliances. She “learned a lot” and was proud of herself. Just a few years after graduating from STLCC, she received a call from Godwin about a teaching position in the dental lab program. Godwin encouraged her to apply. 

“She must have seen something in me that I didn’t know I had,” Morris said. “I was shocked.”

Vicky Morris, IT project manager, 1982 graduate, St. Louis Community CollegeAt only 24, she was teaching at her alma mater. Former faculty were co-workers, and the students didn’t look much younger than her — something the faculty teased about. She likes to think of teaching at STLCC-Meramec as returning the favor. 

Her career path changed in 1993 when the dental lab technology program ended because of a restructure. She no longer had a teaching role; but, was offered a job as a media associate in the library. Her responsibilities included setting up audio/visual resources such as film projectors and overhead projectors in classrooms across the Meramec campus. 

As times changed, so did technology. In 2015, the College’s information technology department absorbed media staff and Morris was promoted to an IT project coordinator. 

When the College pivoted to virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Morris is among many in IT who were responsible for distributing laptop computers to students through the College’s loaner program. She made sure students could connect to the virtual private network at home to do coursework. She reached out to students who needed help, thinking of those who didn’t know what to do or who to ask for help…the way she felt at 18. 

Morris has a few other reasons to feel connected to STLCC – no pun intended. While working in media, she met her husband, Scott. He was a campus librarian. Their son, Evan, graduated from STLCC in 2019 with a degree in accounting, and graduated from University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2022. A few months ago, she became an IT project manager for STLCC Transformed.

Morris calls STLCC the best educational value in St. Louis.

“Now that I’m on the opposite side, I do what I can to help the students.”

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