Sam LaFell, Rising Junior in PR, Spanish Language

Campus in fall with foliage

Students walk to class in front of Withers and Daniels Hall. PHOTO BY ROGER WINSTEAD

Sam LaFell, an NC State student from Durham, is double majoring in Communication with a concentration in PR as well as Spanish Language and Literature. Find out where he will be going next year.

What activities and positions have you been in at NC State?

Sam LaFellDuring my Freshman year, I joined IMPACT Leadership Village, housed in Bowen Hall. I showed up ready to make an IMPACT, and I did. By September, I was appointed the first-year representative. By October, I was appointed president of a village with over 70 people, and many second- and third-year students. During this same year, I also was a part of Chancellors First-Year Student Leadership Program (CFYSLP), and I grew so much as an individual by being a part of this program. Freshman year for me was actually a lot of networking and making connections so people would start to know who I am. This year, I co-ran with a friend for an executive board position in Lambda Pi Eta (LPH), the National Communication Honor Society. We won, but that could be because we ran unopposed!

Other activities include Wolfpack Sports Television, Cultural Exchange Network (CENet) and Leadership Council for Global Training Initiative (GTI).

What have been some of your most impactful experiences while a student here?

By far the most impactful experiences I have had at NC State involve the networks I’m involved with. I have a passion for creating and developing relationships, and that passion has grown since I’ve arrived at college. I’ve noticed a lot of times that just by developing relationships, you set yourself up for success in the future as well as opportunities to make a difference. The friends and connections I’ve made in the past two years have played a key role in creating the individual that I am today.

Why do you feel a diverse student body is important at NC State?

I come from an average, middle-class Caucasian family. My family has a lot of negative prejudices towards anyone different from them, and I can’t begin to hypothesize why they think this way, but it’s not uncommon. Diversity is one of the more potent issues in our society today. A lot of issues stem from intolerance of diversity, and that should not even exist in a university setting, but unfortunately it does. In order to combat negative stereotypes and prejudices, the student body needs to have more exposure to whatever it is they have negative stereotypes about. For example, being in classes that have an equal percentage of racial, gender and ethnic diversity. By doing this, I believe that we can begin to address the misinformed individuals that hold these negative prejudices, and most likely don’t have any solid evidence or personal experience to think like this.

What upcoming experiences do you look forward to as you finish your degree(s) at NC State?

Next semester, during the fall of 2016, I will be studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ). I am more than eager for this opportunity because of the incredibly positive things I have heard from others who have studied abroad. Studying abroad has been a goal of mine ever since I arrived in Raleigh, and I have never been discouraged in this. I look to this trip to provide physical, mental, spiritual and emotional growth. There has never been a time in my life where I have been taken out of my comfortable environment and forced to survive outside of my normal boundaries, and I believe this trip will change that. I’m eager for the challenges and growth that await.