Rising Stars Spotlight: Kate Morris

Morris currently works as a Graduate Assistant in Student-Athlete Development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She graduated from UNC in May of 2019 with degrees in Exercise and Sport Science and Psychology. Prior to her graduate school studies, Kate worked at the University of Michigan as an Academic Mentor. In this position, she oversaw the academic progress for a number of Michigan football student-athletes.

Kate played soccer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her collegiate soccer career was far from perfect. She experienced numerous season ending injuries (4 ACL reconstructions), which unfortunately led to her early retirement before she started her senior year. Kate says that these injuries had a tremendous impact on her life and have shaped her into the woman she is today.  

Why did you join Women Leaders, and how has the organization helped you in your career?

I joined Women Leaders because one of my classmates in my graduate program had nothing much amazing things to say about the organization. I attended the 2021 Women’s Leadership Symposium in April and was blown away by how many amazing women are currently working in the industry. I left with a new sense of confidence and determination to make the greatest impact possible. Women Leaders has provided me with the opportunity to connect with so many amazing women!

What do you enjoy most about being a Graduate Assistant at UNC, and why did you choose to return to UNC after graduation? 

I am so grateful to be back at Carolina. One of favorite parts of being a Graduate Assistant has been how many different opportunities I have been able to experience. I have a much better understanding of how many moving parts there are in order to make all the magic happen! In addition to the opportunities, I have also loved getting to know so many different, amazing individuals. I feel a sense of support from the athletic department – individuals have always been willing to meet over lunch to discuss career paths and offer advice. 

What is one Women Leaders member benefit that you plan on taking advantage of this year? 

I am currently involved in the mentorship program. I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to take part in this amazing membership benefit because my mentor has been so impactful/helpful! SHOUTOUT KATELYN. I am excited to continue on in this program and hopefully find myself on the other side, as a mentor, someday. 

What is a professional or personal goal that you want to work towards in 2022?

 A goal that I am currently working towards is building my network both inside and outside of Carolina. This is a goal I actually set with my Women Leaders’ mentor at our last session! 

What made you want to work in sports after being a collegiate athlete and how has this helped you in your career? 

When I look back on my time as a student-athlete at Carolina, I am extremely thankful for all the individuals who believed in me, supported me, and pushed me to be my best each and every day. Unfortunately, before the start of my senior year, I decided to medically retired after tearing my ACL for the fourth time. During this process, I realized I was not ready to walk away from soccer and my teammates, so I elected to stay on the team as a volunteer undergraduate assistant coach. In my new role, I was able to learn from many collegiate athletic administrators. Because of this, I saw the other side of athletics and I aspired to have a career similar where I can serve student-athletes while working every day to make their experience better, both on and off the field.

You recently started getting involved with broadcasting. How do you feel about this work and how has it challenged you? 

In total, I have now done the color commentating for three games (1 women’s soccer game and 2 men’s soccer games). I have absolutely loved this experience thus far. When I was initially asked about it, I knew I would regret saying no. I never imagined myself doing this kind of work, but it has been incredibly rewarding. It has forced me to look at the game of soccer in a much more analytical way, which is something I have not done since my career ended back in 2018 due to medical retirement. In addition to seeing the game differently, it has challenged me to become a more confident public speaker. Finally, this experience has provided me with the exposure to a sector of athletics I had very little understanding of prior to. I will forever be grateful for this experience and the amazing people I have met through it! 

What is your favorite:

Food? Caesar salad 
Sports team? UNC Women’s and Men’s Soccer Teams 



What is your favorite thing about the holidays? 

Spending quality time with my friends and family back in Michigan. 

What is one piece of advice you would give to fellow Rising Stars?

Don’t be afraid to reach out to ask for help – even your peers. We can learn something from every individual we come in contact with! WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. 


Rising Stars is a members-only program designed to assist emerging professionals in developing, connecting, and advancing in their careers. If you're a student, intern, graduate assistant, or young professional with less than three years of full-time experience, this is the program for you!

Joining is easy: First, follow the Rising Stars community. Click here, then select "Follow Community" on the right-hand side. (You must be logged into your Women Leaders account).

Once you've joined, you're automatically opted in to receive the Rising Stars monthly newsletter, you'll be invited to Rising Stars Circle calls, you can join our closed Facebook group, and you'll hear from past Rising Stars Award recipients about how they kicked glass and exceeded all expectations!

If you have questions or problems logging in, contact Bridget Burke .