WYOMISSING, Pa. — When Penn State Berks senior Caitlin Morris walks across the stage to receive her diploma on May 8, she will already know what the next two years hold for her. Morris was recently awarded the Fulbright LUT University Graduate Award to study strategic finance and analytics, working toward a master’s degree in economic and business administration, at Lappeenranta–Lahti University of Technology (LUT University) in Finland. She is one of the four students to receive the award this year.
Morris explains that she was interested in applying for the Fulbright LUT University award because the university is known for its focus on technology and innovation. These are two areas of particular interest to Morris, a business major with an accounting option and a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation. In addition to her studies, she is also president of the Entrepreneurship Club at Penn State Berks.
Her interest in startups extends beyond the campus. Morris is the finance manager for Traduki Technologies, LLC, a tech startup company founded by her brother, Ryan Morris, a 2019 Penn State graduate. Traduki was born out of one of the college’s entrepreneurship and innovation minor courses in 2017, further developed through the Flemming Creativity Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED) Center on campus, and refined at the Penn State Berks LaunchBox in downtown Reading. Caitlin Morris joined the company in 2019, and she will continue to work with them while studying in Finland.
Traduki Technologies, LLC provides real-time language interpretation services through certified interpreters via over-the-phone interpreting (OPI), video remote interpreting (VRI) and face-to-face scheduling service. It uses real-time technology to reduce language barriers and allow people to make the connections they need. Their focus is providing a platform for service industries, such as health care networks.
Morris is excited about receiving the Fulbright LUT University Graduate Award and traveling to Finland. The Honeybrook, Pa. native comments that she grew up in a small town in the middle of farmland and this will be her first international experience.
She explains that when she graduated from a cyber school, she didn’t know where to begin her college search. Then her brother, Ryan, invited her to Penn State Berks for a tour. “The campus community drew me in,” she states, adding that she immediately felt very comfortable with the students and professors at the college.
Morris has excelled during her time on campus. She is a Schreyer Honor College Scholar. Her thesis, titled “Study of Accounting Firms’ Online Presence: Examination of Firms’ Social Media Usage and Website Content,” examines how smaller accounting firms tend to use social media and their websites differently than larger companies.
Before becoming president of the Entrepreneurship Club, Morris was an intern in the Flemming CEED Center, where she worked on creating newsletters, updating their website and organizing events. She also completed a finance internship at Amtrak, where she worked on budgeting and reporting on core and capital engineering projects.
Morris was involved in many campus organizations. She served as vice president of the Student Government Association, Penn State Berks representative to the University’s Council of Commonwealth Student Governments and a member of the Sustainability Team. She also served on several committees including Quality of Student Life Committee, Student Initiated Fee Committee and the Academic Integrity Committee.
During her time at Penn State Berks, Morris has received the Penn State Berks Business Outstanding Service Award (2021), Kayyali Family Scholarship (2021), Whitney Open Doors Scholarship (2021), Joseph L. and Shirley K. Boscov Honors Scholarship (2020, 2021), Robert and Jayne Sproesser Schreyer Honors Scholarship (2019), Penn State Berks Student Enterprise Award (2019), and the William G. Hintz, Jr. Scholarship Fund (2018).
When asked how Penn State Berks has prepared her for the future, she stated, “I absolutely think the college gave me a solid foundation in what I’m interested in – marketing, accounting and entrepreneurship. All of it applies to my future and it has taken me to the next level. The entrepreneurship and innovation minor sparked a passion for the startup culture. That’s what I’m most excited about.”
Morris also stated, “All the faculty at the college helped to shape me into the person I am today. I’m especially grateful to Dr. Sandy Feinstein, honors coordinator, who encouraged me since the day we met. She saw potential in me that I never recognized.”
Morris will depart for Finland in August, along with her fiancée Jake Cumens, a mechanical engineering major who also received a scholarship to study in Finland.
About the Fulbright Finland Foundation
The Fulbright Finland Foundation is an independent not-for-profit based in Helsinki, Finland. With the purpose of promoting a wider exchange of knowledge and professional talents through educational contacts between Finland and the United States, the Foundation collaborates with a range of government, foundation, university and corporate partners on both sides of the Atlantic to design and manage study and research scholarships, leadership development programs and internationalization services. In 2020, the Fulbright Finland Foundation awarded over EUR 1,6 million in grants to 94 Finnish and American researchers, students, and professionals. Additionally, Fulbright Finland responded to over 4 100 client contacts (30 % of which were international education professionals) and organized or participated in over 60 training events throughout Finland and online.
About the Fulbright LUT University Grant Award
LUT University is a pioneering science university in Finland, bringing together the fields of science and business since 1969. Clean energy, water and air are life-giving resources for which we seek new solutions with our expertise in technology and business. We help society and businesses in their sustainable renewal. We have served as a forerunner – combining technology and business – ever since our inception. Our international community is comprised of 6,500 students and experts of more than 80 different nationalities engaged in top-level international scientific research and academic education. Our campuses are located in the cities of Lappeenranta and Lahti, Finland. Both cities share LUT’s vision of sustainability: Lappeenranta is a winner of the European Green Leaf award and Lahti is a winner of European Green Capital award, both for 2021.