walsh_dakeyasampson_photo_400.jpgName: Dakeya Sampson

College: Rachel Carson

Department: Literature and Anthropology

What Award/ Scholarship did you receive? Walsh Family Scholarship

What year do you expect to graduate? 2023

Where do you call home? My permanent home is Aliso Viejo, Orange County, but I have considered Santa Cruz my home for the last 3 years and probably after I graduate

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out? When I was looking at colleges I originally wanted a school with a small number of students so that it felt like a small tight-knit community or family and so that my classes would be small enough that they would be seminar-style, discussion-based. This led me to Lewis and Clark and Reed in Oregon, both of which I had already gotten into early admission. My mom convinced me to apply to UC Santa Cruz last minute because she pointed out that it had the smallest number of students out of all the UCs. When I got in, I realized how important it was to me to be near the ocean and surrounded by forests and mountains. This campus is very unique for that. I also found the close community I was looking for in my college Rachel Carson, and the upper division classes aren’t too big after all.

What is your field of focus? For Anthropology, I want to focus on cultural anthropology and maybe how differences among cultures intersect with differences in environmental practices.

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz? I have so many different ideas for what I want to do but no concrete plan. I want to travel in my van for a little and just meet people, gather stories, maybe write poetry about it. I want to travel more broadly and internationally and encounter different cultures, write ethnographies about them. Maybe I’ll do some work as an editor. I want to join the peace corps for a little and do a Fulbright maybe right after I graduate.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here? The moment that stands out to me is the fight for COLA and the amazing community it curated. It was amazing to see support from so many undergraduate students, faculty, and even the bus drivers. Its nice to see how well we can organize when we are fighting for something that we are passionate about, and using the knowledge that we were learning in our current classes to ground our arguments.

What is your one piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz? My one piece of advice would be to try everything you want to do. It might seem like you have so much time to try things out, but 4 years really goes by fast. Get involved, join the newspaper, work for a literary publication, or the radio, or join the pottery co-op, take sailing classes through the rec program. If you do a little digging, you’ll be amazed by all of the amazing an dunique opportunities that you will discover.

How will this scholarship impact your academic life /research? This scholarship will offset some of the burden of tuition costs so that I can focus on my studies rather than on making enough money to pay tuition costs. It will also allow me to devote more of my time to unpaid volunteer work such as with he Homeless Garden Project and Food Not Bombs.

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