#25Faces: Meagan Floyd
The McConnell Center is celebrating 25 years of excellence in higher education in 2016. As part of our yearlong effort to honor those 25 years, we are profiling “25 Faces” of faculty, friends and McConnell Scholar alumni.
Meagan Floyd, a 2013 graduate of the McConnell Scholars Program, is the second in our profile series.
Attention to global affairs and “global-mindedness” has always been second nature for Meagan Floyd, a 2013 graduate of the University of Louisville’s McConnell Scholars Program. A past Fulbright recipient to Malaysia who now serves as the Youth Services Coordinator at Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Floyd says she is thankful to have found a position that combines her interests in international relations, education and serving others.
"Working at KRM allows me to continue to learn and interact with people from all over the world while also introducing them to their new community in Louisville," Floyd says.
While she has landed a job in her hometown of Louisville, Floyd’s career path has certainly been a global one.
After earning her degree in political science from UofL, Floyd worked as KRM's Assistant Youth Services Coordinator following a year-long internship there her senior year. Shortly after, she received a grant from AsiaNetwork with the assistance of the University of Louisville’s Center for Asian Democracy to research the legal status and living situations of Burmese refugees residing in Kuala Lumpur—an opportunity too good to pass up.
A few months later, Floyd was teaching middle and high school English in an under-performing Malaysian public school as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. To date, 11 McConnell Scholars have received Fulbright scholarships.
In her current position at KRM, Floyd is responsible for coordinating school registrations and placements, school medical documentation, day-to-day school support and client assistance for school-aged children and their parents. She also directs KRM's Summer Youth Program and assists with the New Beginnings Tutoring Mentoring Program.
"The children and families I work with are a source of constant inspiration. They have made it through so many difficult situations but still show up every day, happy to have a chance to learn and live their lives freely," Floyd said.
A self-proclaimed explorer at heart, Floyd said she is interested in pursuing a master’s degree and doctoral degree in the field of refugee and forced migration studies later in her career. “My ideal position would be researching ways to improve life for those living inside and outside the confines of refugee camps, but I haven’t ruled out the Foreign Service Officer exam, either,” she said.
Floyd cites her experiences at UofL and at the McConnell Center as critical influences in the formation of her global worldview and her passion for international service. She said she specifically remembers the seminars considering the works of Wendell Berry, whose writings and philosophy taught her “the value of community, what it means to be a productive member of society and the invaluable importance of human relationships.”
An avid reader, Floyd recommends Dave Eggers’s disturbing dystopian “The Circle,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power’s influential “A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide” and Robert Penn Warren’s “All the King’s Men,” a McConnell Center classic she insists should be read more than once.
Floyd said she looks back on her college days as a time of formative intellectual and civic growth.
“Study abroad for an entire semester and commit to learning a language,” she recommended to current students. “I never did, and it is one of my biggest regrets. You learn so much about other cultures and yourself.”