Meet Dr. Muhsinah Morris
Program Director of Virtual Reality at Morehouse College
In this webinar, you’ll meet Muhsinah L. Holmes Morris, Ph.D., the academic program director and assistant professor of chemistry at Morehouse College.
Upon graduating from Clark Atlanta University cum laude with a B.S. in chemistry and honors, she then received an M.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry from Emory University’s biomolecular division. Dr. Morris started her impressive career with research, working in the Morehouse Makerspace Exploration Center, 3D Printing Specialized Laboratory Equipment for those with Autism and other Developmental Disorders.
At the Morris Research and Innovation Group, she is the PI, researching and developing technologically innovative solutions for those with autism. In 2021, she won the Vulcan Teaching Award of Excellence and launched her Advanced Inorganic Chemistry course in virtual reality in the spring, focusing on the digital twin campus created by VictoryXR on the Engage Platform.
Dr. Morris is a proud wife to a gamer and mother to five sons, all while continuing to be a pioneer in the chemistry content space for VR. As an inventive autism mom, a volunteer advocacy ambassador, National Community Advisory Council member, and grant review committee member for Autism Speak, she continues to create inclusivity in STEAAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, agriculture, and math).
She believes that VR provides a pathway for creating that inclusion through immersive education, vocational rehabilitation services, and therapeutic experiences.
The Exploration Leaders Behind VR for College Classrooms
Along with Dr. Muhsinah Morris, the “Ultimate Team” of professors who initiated the virtual reality exploration include Dr. Ethell Vereen, Assistant Professor of Biology, Dr. Ovell Hamilton, Assistant Professor of History, and Dr. Tanya Clark, Assistant Professor of English.
Morehouse College Collaborates with VictoryXR
It began with Dr. Michael Hodge, Interim Executive Director of the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) and former Provost at Morehouse College who conceived of an educational space devoid of infrastructural limitations where the scholars of the future would emerge.
He then sought to secure funding through Qualcomm and the Southern Company to develop his vision to give students a cutting edge technologically sound educational experience. According to Dr. Morris, “DuShunte Carmon built a relationship with CEO of VictoryXR, Steve Grubbs in order to deploy this concept of a virtual college campus that embody the values and virtues of Mother Morehouse.
The team at VictoryXR along with the ‘Ultimate Team’ worked tirelessly through two solid months of conceptualizing the designs for each subject’s classrooms. Logistics of deploying headsets to students, training teachers and students, designing curricular content, and forging through all tech obstacles were secondary to the primary goal of helping students reach and exceed the educational goals by immersing them in the world of their disciplines.”
How VR is Bridging the Gap Between University and Career
According to Dr. Morris, “healthcare should become more personalized.”
Students have not previously had access to labs where they can complete highly technical, skill-based science work. Being in the biotech space and in high-risk advanced manufacturing-type positions, trying to develop autologous product, can be tedious and skill-based. Students won’t necessarily have the right type of transferrable skills to be ready for these careers once they graduate. They may not have lab experience or internships that can set them up for success.
The process of understanding the intricacies of a lab is intense. There is the handling of instrumentation in a lab, the software used, the protocols and manufacturing practices, the standard operating procedures, and the policies of the lab, and making sure that quality assurance is kept.
And despite the fact that you need to fail in order to learn in a laboratory or manufacturing environment, there’s often no wiggle room for mistakes. In high-tech labs, you can’t understand errors in practice until you make them, but with VR, you can go back and self-correct in a low-stakes environment. It builds confidence and stamina. You can fully understand the environment, procedures, policies, and expectations without the anxiety that comes with inexperience.