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Student Spotlight: Morgan Leishman

Student Spotlight: Morgan Leishman

Major: English Literature

Sport: Swim

Year: Senior

What is your full name?

Morgan Brianna Leishman

Does your name have a special meaning?

My name doesn't necessarily have a special meaning, but my parents decided that they didn't want my name to have any kind of gender identification, and only wanted to know that I was going to be healthy before I was born. They named me "Morgan" and wouldn't tell anyone anything else about me.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a small town in northern Utah, Logan. However I did live for a year in San Luis Obispo before coming to Mills.

Who did you look up to growing up?

I have been a die-hard Superman fan since I was a little girl. I loved the idea of a person being accepted into a society that they didn't always believe they belonged in, but still protecting it with everything that they had, no matter what. All throughout high school I carried a metal "Man of Steel" lunch box.

How long have you been competing in your sport?

I have been swimming competitively for 14 years, but have been enrolled in some type of swim program for 19.

What/who got you into your sport?

My mom made all of my siblings and I swim until she was confident that we could swim our way out of any emergency. The rest of my siblings stopped then, but I continued. The sport really stuck with me, and since then I have done Recreational Swimming, Club swimming at various levels, swam and dove for two high schools, swam here at Mills, and now coach as well.

What is your favorite thing about your sport?

The best thing about swimming for me is the community. People not in swimming will claim that it isn't a team sport, this is not true. The bonds made with a coach and teammates are so strong, and incredible that I struggle to put them into words. I have friends all across the country that I get to see at swim meets. We can get up next to each other on the blocks and race like our lives depend on it, only to hug after the race is over. The thrill of competition is superseded only by the enthusiasm of the person in the lane next to you.

What is your favorite color?


What is your favorite food/drink?

In the morning, I will always tell you my favorite drink is coffee. Black with a touch of sugar. In the evening, I will always tell you my favorite drink is tea. Earl Grey with a splash of milk.

What is song do you have on repeat right now?

One song that I am always down to listen to it Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Today's current obsession though is Imagine Dragons' "Natural."

Who is your favorite celebrity and why?

I'm going to loosely define celebrity and pick Margaret Atwood. There is something special about a book that changes the way you see the world, and Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" was the final deciding factor in pushing me to go to Mills. Atwood is also unapologetically herself. She demands attention and justice for what she sees as right. She also uses her voice in a way that I only hope to.

What is something you want to do before you graduate?

My goal coming into my Junior Year was to be on the Top 5 list of Mills' best times in every event. I accomplished that this year, which I am incredibly proud of. What is the biggest impact that I have made in the last four years though? Maybe I'm still too in the midst of it to have 20/20 retrospective yet.

What is your favorite class this semester and why?

My favorite class of Fall 2018 is Kirsten Saxton's "18th Century Literature: Then and Now." First off, because Kirsten is fabulous. Second, because the class is a window into stories that I have never heard before (one of Mills' specialties). And most importantly, because the people in the class are excited to be there every week, so we get to explore so many interesting sides of literature from every point of view. 


A picture of Morgan at her first swim meet ever.