Sarah Tomas Morgan is a junior at the University of Notre Dame who has been deeply engaged in leadership on campus since her first year. Serving in her residence hall and in various campus organizations, she has combined her passion for politics with her interest in peace studies. Noting that many of her peers refrained from political engagement, Ms. Tomas Morgan built a team to develop a nonpartisan campus movement, called NDVotes '16, to educate, register, and mobilize students in advance of the 2016 presidential election. The success of NDVotes is due to her thoughtful articulation of a compelling idea, her inclusive stance to bring a diverse range of peers to the effort, and collaborative style which allowed those peers to develop their own leadership abilities. Because of its success, we are eager to support Ms. Tomas Morgan as she moves forward with plans to share and promote political and civic engagement with other student leaders across the country. We are confident that Ms. Tomas Morgan will continue to be an active and thoughtful civic leader well beyond her time at Notre Dame.
I grew up discussing politics around the dinner table and attending campaigns and rallies in my hometown. When I started college, I met other students who wanted to talk about politics and the direction of the country. My education centers on the discussion of big ideas through my university's Program of Liberal Studies, but our group came from a range of backgrounds and majors. Our movement grew out of an understanding that engagement in civic life is the responsibility of everyone. We worked to get out the vote and educate students on election issues in advance of the presidential election, and partnered with numerous other organizations to widen the scope of our engagement. Next year, I look forward to expanding our partnerships to include colleges and universities nationwide and continuing to promote civic participation among students and young people.