Judy Loveless-Morris is a local product, who confesses having a non-linear career path “complete with peaks and valleys.” After graduating high school in Tacoma, she was pushed (and supported) by local icon Merle Palmer to continue learning, in addition to marrying at age 19 and having a first child soon thereafter. The former Palmer Scholar's journey since has a core tenant of helping others, including students now in the scholarship program.
Judy and her husband were both working college students, then she became a social worker after graduation, before enrolling in UW-Seattle graduate school. Three children later, she had earned a Ph.D. and was working in research and family programs for the state, along the way also teaching undergrad and graduate level courses at UW, PLU, Clover Park Tech and now Tacoma Community College, where she is a professor of sociology.
“I use my own path to encourage individuals whose path is neither linear or traditional,” Loveless-Morris says. And it is clearly working, as she was nominated for this 40 Under Forty recognition by a student in several of her classes.
She “is one of those great teachers that really has a huge impact on her students, changing the way they are … for the better,” reads the nomination.
In addition to this new honor, she has been featured in Essence magazine and received am “Excellence in Teaching” award. “What I have learned, Loveless-Morris says, “is that each achievement is simply a platform to do something for others.”
Despite being 6 feet, 6 inches tall, Peter Beckwith says his sport was soccer and his passion has always been helping organizations achieve their goals. As general counsel for South Sound 911 – Pierce County’s newer emergency calls and dispatch agency – he’s had a unique opportunity to effectively define and create new operations, policies and procedures.
“Since junior high, I’ve had an interest in public service,” Beckwith says, going beyond political science studies into law school. After graduating, it took him over a year to find a job as an attorney, before getting a call “out of the blue” from a local firm. “I interviewed and was given the job (with) the experience demonstrating to me the importance of networking and being persistent.”
Involved in leadership at his church and with Step by Step (an organization providing maternity support services) and being past president of Auburn Public Schools Foundation all demonstrate his passion, too.
“Success to me is a mindset. It’s asking myself whether I’ve given my best effort,” this young leader explains. “If I have, the achievement often follows. But having this mindset also allows me to find success even in failure.”
Get to meet Judy Loveless-Morris and Peter Beckwith, plus 38 other remarkable members of 2017’s cohort at the 40 Under Forty celebration of their honors on Wednesday, October 11, at Foss Waterway Seaport in downtown Tacoma. It begins with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. and the recognition program will conclude before 8 o’clock. Tickets will be available at this event website.