MU
Oak Leaves

October 13, 2017

DSC_0041

Dr. Gabriela Morales, assistant professor of health communication.


New Asst. Professor Morales Starts Health Comm. Program


Lexy Underhill


One of the newest faculty members, Dr. Gabriela Morales, assistant professor of health communication, recently travelled to North Manchester from the state of New Mexico.

Before coming to Manchester, Morales was a recent graduate of the University of New Mexico, where she got her Ph.D. in communication and journalism, her focus being on health communications and media studies.

To begin her undergrad journey, Morales changed her major from digital media and creative writing to health communications. “It was not until my master degree until I leaned toward the health aspect of communications,” Morales explained. “One of my professors that I got close with encouraged me to read up on it.” Her mother was diagnosed her breast cancer at the age of 4, and she still has many unanswered questions, which is of the main reasons that she went into that particular field. “I now know why certain things happen and why other things did not happen, why we were talked to a certain way and I started to understand things a lot more,” said Morales.

Morales is confident that her recent graduation will help her connect with her students. “Being a student not very long ago makes it easier to know what students like and what they don’t, it is still very fresh in my mind,” she said. “One of the best ways that I have found to work well is to get my students to think outside of the textbook.”  

Growing up in Texas, Morales has always lived in bigger cities. “Coming from bigger cities it has been a process adapting to a smaller town like Manchester,” she stated. “The places look very different from one another, but in that sense it has not been bad. The people are very friendly here, where I am from it is not common,” added Morales.

Morales has a husband and a cat named Stormy that moved to Indiana with her. Her husband also works at Manchester and feels very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him here.

Outside of the workplace, Morales considers herself a homebody when she has the time. “I like to stay home and watch movies,” she said. “I also do a little bit of knitting; I am getting back into it. Anything that comes to technology or software I am all over it.”

Morales and her husband also love hockey. “Where I am from we do not really have anywhere to watch hockey, so now that we are here and it is close by we are very much looking forward to that.”

Morales sees herself here for a very long time. “We are starting up the health communication department and I am the one that is working on getting that set up. With the help of my colleagues it has been great. I would really just like to figure everything out where I am nice and stable,” said Morales.

Morales is also enjoying her time in her new position. “I am very much enjoying my colleagues and my student body,” she stated. “My classes have been extremely bright and the students have so much to say in terms of what we are studying. I am just very excited to get our major up and running, doing that successfully and welcoming students that are interested in the major is very exciting.”

Morales mentions that she had some reservations about the new position and move from New Mexico. “An overall sentiment to the university is that everybody has been really great and welcoming,” she said. “I think being fresh out of graduate school and coming to now being an assistant professor I had some worry but that is all pushed aside now. I am very excited to be here.”