Morgan's example has inspired many of her own students to become teachers. Still others find in her odyssey proof that if you pursue your dreams doggedly, they can come true.
"What an example for the nation to see this lady of passion, love for teaching. Persistence. She just won't give up," says June Scobee Rodgers.
"That's what defines teachers," says Morgan. "They have patience and they have perseverance."
In August, 2008, Morgan retired from NASA to take an academic position at Boise State University. As a Distinguished Educator in Residence, Morgan will work with Boise State's colleges of engineering and education to help raise more money for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. She will also help promote scientific literacy in Idaho, including bringing NASA educational programs to local school districts.
Asked whether the mission has changed her, Morgan responds, "There's a great sense of pride to be able to be involved in a human endeavor that takes us all a little bit farther. When you look down and see our Earth . . . and you realize what we are trying to do as a human race, it's pretty profound."