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St. John’s University’s Yvette Morgan, Ph.D., Receives National Recognition as “Professional of the Year” at GEAR UP Conference in San Francisco, CA

Monday, July 24, 2017

The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) and Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) honored St. John’s University administrator Yvette Morgan, Ph.D. with its “Professional of the Year” award at their annual national convention in San Francisco, CA last week. Morgan has been the Director for GEAR UP at St. John’s for the past 14 years.

The Conference, held July 16-19, is the national convening of professionals, parents, students, policymakers, and community and business partners supporting GEAR UP programs and the students they serve nationwide. Coordinated by NCCEP, the conference highlights the importance of K-16 education and community partnerships and the accomplishments of the GEAR UP programs across the country.

“To be selected among my peer directors who represent GEAR UP nationwide is truly humbling,” said Morgan. “Nona Donovan (New York GEAR UP State Director) nominated me for this honor. It speaks volumes because she (Donovan) monitors the progress of more than 6,000 students and can’t possibly see what we do every day, but what she does see is successful outcomes from our programs.” 

The mission of the GEAR UP program at St. John’s University is to serve as a vehicle that will enable academically and/or economically disadvantaged students to graduate middle and high school and pursue post secondary education. Through a broad range of academic and social support services, GEAR UP provides students with a solid academic background that will enable them to succeed and become lifelong learners and productive citizens of society.

GEAR UP program objectives include:

  • Providing information to students and parents about college options, required courses and financial aid
  • Helping ensure that all students have access to rigorous courses that prepare them for college
  • Developing a solid academic foundation for college
  • Promoting strategies and activities for increased parent involvement
  • Providing support to students through mentoring, counseling and tutoring
  • Providing ongoing teacher training and professional development
  • Establishing meaningful partnerships within the community

“At the core of Dr. Morgan’s work is her unyielding belief in the potential of our youth. She is both drum major and head cheerleader for GEAR UP – and her commitment to the students she serves is evident in everything she does,” said André McKenzie, Ed.D., Vice Provost for Academic Support Services and Faculty Development. “It is also an honor for St. John’s to get this national recognition for our GEAR UP program, and especially fitting that the University, in light of its mission to serve those in economic need, is cited for its commitment to serving disadvantaged students.”

For more information contact Dominic Scianna, Associate Vice President for External Relations at St. John’s University by calling 718.990.6185 or e-mail inquiries to sciannad@stjohns.edu