Alumni Spotlight

Franzeska Sampson

Graduation Year: 2014
Major(s) & Minor(s): Social Work
Hometown: Born in Guyana; Currently live in Queens, NY
Current Professional Title: Social Work Professor
Name of Employer: Medgar Evers College (Social Work Department) & Grand Canyon University (College of Humanities)

Why did you choose to attend Medgar Evers College?

I chose Medgar Evers College because it was where I felt I belonged. I embraced the diversity of the student population and the professors who nurtured my growth and development in my educational journey. Before attending Medgar, I enrolled at another University, and I felt lost; I was disengaged with my peers and professors and did not do my best work.

What is one of your favorite memories, classes, professors, or activities while attending Medgar Evers College as a student?

Some of my favorite memories include serving on the Social Work Club as the vice president. The club provided student advocacy opportunities, building connections with fellow social work students and professors, and networking. I enjoyed having lunch meetings with my colleagues in the different areas of the college. Most notably are the memories and lifelong relationships I’ve built with many. One of my favorite classes was Spirituality with Professor McQueen. This class put the focus on the student, working on the self, and doing internal work.

How has your education at Medgar Evers College influenced or helped you in your life and career?

In life, a strong foundation is everything. Medgar has a student population that faces many challenges, diversities and is at a disadvantage. Being a part of this population was my initial preparation for the social work field. The professors in the social work department exhibited empathy and a listening ear when needed. They went above and beyond the classroom. This action prepared me to work with populations such as youths in foster care and homeless families. Often, clients just need a listening ear. After they receive this, the work will come. Finally, being a former student of Social Work sparked my interest in returning to Medgar to demonstrate my positive experiences to current students.

What are one or two of your proudest professional or personal accomplishments that occurred after graduating from MEC in which your education played a role?

Being able to return to Medgar and work as a professor is a blessing, a joy, and a significant accomplishment. Also, I am currently a doctoral candidate at Grand Canyon University and anticipate graduating in 2022. I reflect on myself often as a young girl coming from the Caribbean and surpassing all expectations, even my own. There is still more work to be done, but I am blessed to have these significant accomplishments thus far.

What piece of professional advice would you give your fellow MEC alumni?

It is essential to stay connected, network, and collaborate. Staying connected does not mean you have to become an employee or faculty at the college. Staying connected can be doing a presentation for a selected class, starting a scholarship fund, volunteering, educating current students on different career paths, and many other areas. The educational and information component is relevant to students entering a field that an alumnus is currently employed in.