Jennifer Samson found herself teaching at Queens for the small-campus experience that many students themselves seek. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Samson migrated to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue her institutionary education at Vanderbilt University, and remained there for her graduate degree as well.
At Vanderbilt, Samson not only found her passion for education, but also found love. Samson met her husband here, and claimed that they would have stayed in Nashville after their education had there been better opportunities available.
Samson migrated to Russellville, Arkansas where she worked a multitude of different jobs. Between teaching and being a research assistant, five years in Arkansas flew by, and Samson began to explore other possibilities for her career.
With both learning and working in a large school environment, Samson found herself wanting more – she wanted to have the impact on students that she could only have on a small campus. “I was looking for a smaller place where I can get interaction with students,” she said. Queens looked to be the perfect place for her with its close-knit community and research opportunities, and so she moved from Arkansas to Charlotte.
Dr. Jennifer Samson is a new professor at Queens, focusing her degree and efforts in the psychology department. Here, she teaches several different types of courses such as developmental psychology and research psychology.
One thing is clear about Dr. Samson – being a professor is more than just a job, it’s a passion. Her care for her students and the course material is clear to anyone that knows her. When asked about what one of her favorite parts of her job, her students always managed to come up.
“One of the things that stood out when she applied was that every recommendation we received about her mentioned her dedication to students,” said Dr. Nancy Johnson, psychology professor at Queens.
She enjoys being part of the process of helping students understand new material. Likewise, she feels that she learns a lot herself from her students, saying that they offer “different perspectives” to subjects that she never would have thought about herself.
Johnson also made clear that Samson’s student-centered style seemed like a great fit for their department and for Queens. Barely into her new job, it is apparent that she has already left a great impression on those working with her.
Although her career is a huge part of her life, Jennifer Samson likes to spend her free time on activities outside of her field of expertise. Samson is an avid reader and tries to incorporate a good book in her life whenever she gets a chance.
Jasmine Madjlessi, a Queens sophomore, has established a connection with Samson through literature in the short weeks that she has been teaching at Queens. “Anyone who walks into her office can tell that she loves musicals,” said Madjlessi said “She’s always listening to songs from musicals on her computer and her ringtone on her phone is from a musical.”
Samson thought about what she wanted to get out of working at Queens, “I want to look back and say I had students that made me proud.”