Grad Profile: Daniel Sampson

Daniel Sampson, after maintaining academic honor roll from spring 2016 to spring 2018, will be graduating with a degree in Contemporary Music with a Jazz and Popular Music Emphasis. He is originally from Newport, Oregon and transferred to Western Oregon University from the Oregon Coast Community College located there.

Why did you choose WOU?
I was drawn to WOU because it’s a relatively small school in a small town, and there’s a greater sense of community here. The class sizes are very manageable, and I have never felt intimidated about approaching the professors. I had also heard great things about the music department from my former high school band teacher. I have had a wonderful experience here.

What do you love most about WOU?
The small class sizes really help to make professor-student interactions more meaningful. All the professors I have met here care about student success and that had also made my experience here that much better.

What do you love most about your degree?
The incredible variety of different musical styles I have been exposed to while at WOU

What have some of your extracurriculars been? How did those impact your time on campus?
I have been a DJ for WOU’s online radio station KWOU since fall 2015, and it’s been a great way to interact with students from other departments.

What has been your biggest achievement, success or accomplishment in college?
Receiving the music department’s biggest scholarship for the school year 2017-18, the Marv and Rindi Ross Academic Excellence scholarship.

Has there been a class or professor that has been particularly inspiring to you?
I would have to say that retired professor of music Dr. Tom Bergeron had a huge impact on me as a student at Western. When I arrived at WOU, I was a very shy and introverted person and as a musician I wasn’t very developed in terms of playing skill. Dr. Bergeron really helped me step outside my comfort zone and gently but firmly pushed me to become the musician and person I am today. I definitely feel I am a much more confident person in addition to being a much more capable musician than I was when I transferred here from community college.

What will you miss most about college?
My friends and professors.

What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation, I hope to pursue a career as an Electronic Dance Music producer and sometime musician. I am also hoping to spend some time in Canada and/or Europe.

What advice do you have for current and future Wolves? 

I would have to say that it would definitely be advantageous to get to know your professors. They genuinely want you to succeed, and there is a reason why they have office hours.

What do you know now that you wish you knew your first term in college?
That my professors are always happy to help if I have questions about assignments or material covered in class that I might have found confusing.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?
The bench outside of Smith Hall. It’s a pretty quiet spot and when the sun is shining it’s partly in shade. Also the fauna around it is comforting.

Did you have any funny mishaps or moments of confusion when you first started at WOU?
I took a 400 level class and got worried that it might be a class for upperclassmen and graduate students, but it turned out that the class had that number because there wasn’t a lower class number available for it.

What’s the most important lesson you learned about yourself while in college?
The most important lesson I learned about myself during my time in college was that through hard work I can achieve things that may not have seemed easy to achieve in the beginning. Through focused regular practice I was able to become the musician that I am today, and working as hard as I could in my classes, I was able to finally graduate college.

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