Colleen E. Morey earned her BA at Loyola in 2005, and, not being ready to leave Chicago, stayed in the Windy City to pursue her JD, graduating from the Law School in 2008. She currently works as a district attorney in Fort Collins, Colorado.
During undergrad, Colleen spent a semester in Washington DC with the Les Aspin Program for Government. It was there she decided to get into politics and figured the best way to do that was by getting a law degree. She’s not ready to make a run for office just yet–she’s still adjusting to the public scrutiny that comes from working in the District Attorney’s office.
What’s the most enduring lesson you learned at Loyola?
The importance of service in your everyday life. There is always time to give back if you make it a priority. I’ve been involved with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, trash pick up days, after-school tutoring, and volunteering at the Irish-American Society. Nowadays, I run in various races that support charities.
What’s your favorite memory of Loyola?
Coffey Hall during freshman year. Most of my best friends are Coffey alums. We were upset when we found out we were in the “all girls” dorm, but cried when we had to leave.
If you could go back to school, what Loyola course would you take? Why?
I think I would take some business classes. Finances have never been my strong suit.
Where was your favorite place on campus?
The Jes Res lawn, which is now a beautiful information building [Klarchek Information Commons], but I loved when it was nice out and we could “study” on the lawn.
What’s your favorite place in Chicago?
The lakefront path between Irving Park and the boat harbor. It’s where I trained for the 2006 Chicago marathon and cleared my head on a daily basis. I haven’t had the opportunity to train for another marathon, yet, but hope to soon!
What’s the most interesting part of your job?
I deal primarily with alleged criminals. I get yelled at a lot, called derogatory names, and cursed at. So, that’s interesting. There’s always a good story around the office about something crazy that happened that day. At the same time, making a difference in my community is extremely rewarding.
Sounds like that can be pretty stressful. What do you do to unwind?
I run twice a week and hit the gym the other days. I also ski a lot during the season. Even the drive up there can be relaxing if the traffic cooperates.
What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Be here now” and “trust the process.” There’s only so much you can do today, and it’s better to live in the present than waste it worrying about the past or future.
What book are you reading right now? Would you recommend it to others?
A Long Way Gone by Ishmeal Beah (yes); Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran (yes); and The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (maybe).
What (or who) inspires you?
My dad and the human ability to achieve greatness.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?
South America, specifically Peru. I’ve been to Europe and India, so I feel like South America is the next step.
You studied at the John Felice Rome Center. What hidden gems did you discover in Rome?
I didn’t know the names of anything in Rome. I was always following my friend Courtney around. There was this sandwich shop by the Pantheon that was fantastic. I also loved “cheap bar” (had cheap Heinekens).
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Reality TV, though I’d never actually want to be on any of the shows.
Which one best describes you in college: athlete, intellectual, artist, young professional, activist, or social butterfly?
Part activist, part social butterfly