“Meet the Staff” – Morgan Anderson, Assistant Director of Aquatics Programming

A graphic featuring a headshot of Morgan Anderson

Cambridge, Mass. (March 30) – In the next installment of the "Meet the Coaches and Staff" series by the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (DAPER), we spotlight Morgan Anderson, who enters her 10th year at MIT and second as the Assistant Director of Aquatics Programming.

What is your role in DAPER and your responsibilities?
As the Assistant Director of Aquatics programming, my main responsibility is running the Learn to Swim and Private Lesson program. I oversee the instructors as well as the Private Lesson coordinator position. In my role, I also collaborate with the aquatics team as well as recreation to work on projects and other department goals.

Where did you grow up and what activities were you involved in?
I grew up in the South End of Boston right across the river. I participated on a competitive swimming team in Chinatown as well as some dancing programs at the Boston Ballet. I also participated in girls rowing on the Charles River during the summer.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I went to the University of Rhode Island and studied marine affairs as well as gender women's studies.

What first brought you to MIT?
MIT was one of my first part time jobs in high school since I lived close by. When I was old enough to get my lifeguarding certification, I completed the course and asked for a lifeguarding job.

What is your favorite thing about working at MIT? Also, what is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part about working at MIT is the people. I have made the best friendships here over the years and I am always meeting new people. My favorite part of my job is getting to be creative in new ways to teach people how to swim and have fun around the water.

What is your most memorable moment while working at MIT?
One of my favorite moments was when the video scoreboard was finally installed in the Zesiger Pool. After a long summer of camp, we played "Finding Nemo" to test it out. All the kids during free swim sat around and watched and it was just a super cute memory.

What is your favorite movie?
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban!

What is your favorite book?
My favorite book, even though I am not religious, is "The Five People You Meet in Heaven." I think it has a meaningful message and I like to come back to it in tough times.

What is the last book that you read?
The book I'm currently reading is called "Feasting Wild" by Elizabeth Kolbert.

What is your favorite musician/artist/genre of music?
I don't have one genre that I listen to. I like to switch around all the time depending on my mood, so sometimes it's rap and sometimes it's musicals.

Which podcasts do you listen to?
I love listening to true crime podcasts. One that I listen to a lot is "Crime Junkies."

What is your dream vacation destination?
My dream vacation would be the Galapagos Islands.

What is your favorite location to travel to?
My favorite location to travel to is Disney World in normal times. My partner and I go almost every year.

What do you do to relax?
I love to take a bath, do a facemask, and read.

Which shows have you started watching since we have been working from home?
I am a huge comfort show watcher, so I like to re-watch shows like Gilmore Girls, Vampire Diaries, and American Horror Story.

Is there a new skill you've developed or activity you've engaged in while working from home?
We just got a puppy, so I've been putting a lot of focus on training and learning more about animal behavior.

What is a fun fact or a talent that no one knows about you?
I worked at the Franklin Park Zoo and would walk around with a ball python to teach people about them.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Lolita's in the Back Bay.

What is a profession you would have pursued if you didn't work in aquatics?
Probably something related to marine biology, either working at a non-profit or at an aquarium. I currently volunteer in the education department at the New England Aquarium.

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