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Lecture Review with Paul Morgan

paul morgan

At the request of the Utah Prison Education Program (UPEP) students, Erin Castro invited me to provide a lecture on student veterans in higher education and our U Vets.  I immediately accepted because I enjoy serving others, and this was also an opportunity to serve some of my brothers in arms who were incarcerated. The UPEP staff provided training on procedures and protocols for the Draper facility and the UPEP program, and they told me about how the UPEP students are very motivated and engaged in learning. I was excited about giving the lecture, but I know that what our training teaches us to expect is sometimes different from what we really experience. Such was the case with my lecture.

In the training, I was told that the UPEP students would be motivated, inquisitive, and prepared, but what I encountered far exceeded these expectations. All of the students had read the journal article that I provided in advance. All of them. They asked insightful questions that they had already thought about and other questions that demonstrated they were completely engaged. They provided thoughtful contributions to the discussion. For example, a good portion of the article discussed veterans’ transition out of the military and onto campuses. I intended to guide the discussion to draw out parallels between identity and cultural transitions for veterans and transitions in and out of incarceration. They quickly got there themselves. 

The discussions with the students afterwards were enlightening for me. One said that UPEP helped him think about more than just himself and to consider what meaningful things he might do in the future. Some were planning to go to college, start nonprofits, or work with special needs children. The program has been transformational for them.

Another expectation from the UPEP training was different from what I actually experienced—I underestimated just how rewarding the program would be. 

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Last Updated: 12/29/22