2019 PFL Scholarship Winner, Morgan Sisk
Thank you to Morgan Sisk for allowing us to share her scholarship application essay.
I am truly honored to be a recipient of the 2019 PFL Character Scholarship and would like to take this opportunity to share how the Lutzie 43 Foundation has impacted my life. The safe driving initiatives of the foundation not only increased my awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, but also empowered me to promote safe driving within my community. As more lives are touched by the effects of distracted driving, I am grateful to the Lutzie 43 Foundation for raising awareness in the Auburn community and across the nation. I aim to carry these lessons forward as I complete my degree at Auburn and beyond and would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Lutzie 43 Foundation for their work and for this opportunity.
Nearly 10 years after the legendary 2010 Iron Bowl and subsequent championship, Lutzenkirchen’s delayed-release play and winning touchdown are met with thunderous cheers in the pre-game hype videos for Auburn football games. The band of brothers that rallied that year to come back from a 24-7 deficit at half-time left a legacy, an example of the Auburn Creed in action. Through “work, hard work,” they left an indelible mark on Auburn, influencing future generations of students. Though I aim to employ this same philosophy and work ethic in all my academic, research, and athletic pursuits,—I am training for an upcoming Ironman triathlon—another area of his life and legacy has had the most profound impact on my life.
Philip’s exemplification of the principles articulated by the Auburn Creed were not limited to the field. In his dedication to serving children in need, Philip incorporated the Creed in his interactions with community: “I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.” These principles embodied by Lutzenkirchen have been transformative in my own life. Since my freshman year, I have tutored children from low-income Hispanic families in the Auburn community through Esperanza House, a non-profit organization assisting families in education and youth development. Despite the seemingly-insurmountable challenges faced by the families of Esperanza House, parents and children alike tackle them with unwavering optimism. The two girls whom I tutor, Kimberly and Amanda, are no exception. Likewise, my experience over the last year volunteering with Mercy Medical Clinic in Auburn, a clinic dedicated to serving patients without insurance, has demonstrated the capacity of service-minded physicians to provide compassionate care for the underserved. I aspire to join the ranks of physicians serving the underserved in my community and abroad.
In addition to promoting service initiatives in the community, Philip advocated communication as a means of effectively bridging the gap between design and implementation in any project. I have realized the importance of communication in my research pursuits. As a member of a team dedicated to preventing microbial contamination of the European biosphere during NASA’s upcoming Europa Lander Mission, I have witnessed the importance of communication in maximizing efficiency in design and manufacturing processes. The propulsion design and microbiology teams must work in tandem to prevent contamination at a system level, proactively communicating problems in order to overcome logistical challenges and provide feasible solutions.
In both athletic and service pursuits, Philip and his teammates left a legacy of empowerment, a call to Auburn students to embrace Auburn and the principles it stands for. Their legacy continues to influence Auburn students like myself.
Watch Morgan’s PFL video here.