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Meet Pelema Morrice

Pelema I. Morrice
Vice Provost, Enrollment Management at the University of Missouri
@PelemaMorrice

How has your career path led you to work as the vice provost, enrollment management at the University of Missouri?

I have been blessed to work in a variety of postsecondary settings and institutional types.  Each experience provided a unique set of challenges and opportunities that will be present in my new role at a large research university.

What is the value of NACAC not in only in your career, but in all aspects of your life?

NACAC has been an invaluable resource throughout my career. I have engaged in professional development opportunities sponsored by NACAC and these experiences allowed me to improve service to my campus community. I have also met some outstanding colleagues through NACAC and they have helped me grow both personally and professionally.  

We’ve read that you were a high school dropout. What effect, if any, did it have on your educational and career path?

My non-linear educational path had a direct and profound impact on my career trajectory. I received my high school diploma at age 23 and my undergraduate degree at age 28.  Shortly, after completing my bachelor’s degree, I decided to focus my career on improving educational outcomes for underserved students, which culminated in my first role in higher education in 2002.  

What advice do you have for professionals who are new to the field?

Take the time to clarify and articulate why you have invested in this career path. Of course, there are no right or wrong answers, but having a clear sense of why you have a chosen this profession is a helpful exercise that will guide future career decisions.

What strategies do you use to help increase access to higher education?

Increasing access to postsecondary education is something we all believe in and strategies are really dependent on the context. What is most important is the alignment of these initiatives with institutional values and key community partners.  Robust mission-driven partnerships provide real value and are more sustainable over time.  

How have your studies on college access and equity, choice, and underserved student populations shaped your perspective on college admission?

The time I spent in graduate school studying these key issues was really transformative. It provided me with a macro lens to better understand the array of issues that undergird educational inequality.  This experience allowed me to nurture a holistic and pipeline driven approach to college admission.  

List five adjectives that best describe you:

• Driven
• Candid
• Strategic
• Passionate
• Thoughtful

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