UHD’s Sam Mosley Takes Student Involvement To The Next Level
By Sam Byrd
Criminal Justice major Sam Mosley is scheduled to graduate University of Houston-Downtown in spring, and when she does, she’ll leave behind a legacy of service. The 28-year-old is heavily involved in multiple campus organizations, but her life didn’t always have such an altruistic focus.
As her age indicates, Mosley’s path to UHD was not a direct line from high school. Life, as it sometimes does, takes a detour, and for Mosley, that turn came when she married and had children. Seven months after the birth of her second child, he contracted an aggressive virus that claimed his life. That loss was the impetus for Mosley, who holds an associate’s degree from San Jacinto College, to complete her bachelor’s degree.
“It took me a long time to overcome that depression and emerge from the pit I was in. I knew that since he didn’t have a legacy, whatever I do in my life is his legacy,” she said. “Once I got to the point of understanding that I have a life to live and I still have to be a whole person, I realized I have a lot to give to the world. Now, I use my time not just to be busy but to be productive.”
She used that motivation to go back to school, and she chose UHD to complete her studies because of its “at home” feeling.
“I wanted to go to a school that acknowledges everyone doesn’t have the same path. UHD prides itself on serving nontraditional students,” she said.
She quickly realized active engagement in student groups would be a good way to use her experiences to benefit others. One group she jumped into is the Black Student Association, where she currently serves as President.
“It’s important for Black students to understand where their network is and to be in communication with each other so they can use each other as a support system. It’s really important to have access to people you identify with,” she commented. “I’m working to make Black students more visible and help with Black retention. I’m trying to do things that make Black students feel heard and welcomed at UHD.”
She is also a Gator Peer Mentor, a program that partners freshman students with faculty and peer mentors within their college in effort build meaningful relationships to bolster students’ success.
“It’s helpful for students to have someone in their age group who is a little ahead of them as a frame of reference. Sometimes you feel silly when you pose questions about school with administration with whom you haven’t built a rapport,” she added. “It makes me feel good that I can help someone who is younger and just starting college so that I can spare them from making the mistakes I made.”
Other highlights from her campus and civic duties are the Diversity Taskforce, Student Disciplinary Committee, and the Texas Civic Ambassadors Program hosted by The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication’s Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life.
Between classes and extracurriculars, time management can get dizzy, but Mosley says she disciplines herself by keeping a well-organized and strategic schedule to fit it all in.
“I have two calendars on my computer, and I have a whiteboard next to my TV that I look at every morning and every night. I set alarms, and I set reminders. Even on a slow day, I’m busy. I’m always doing homework or in a meeting,” she commented.
Balancing all these activities is demanding, yet she sees her dedication to these groups as a way to be an agent of change for the world around her. One last group she manages to squeeze in her already-tight schedule is the Pre-Law Association, a group that might serve well for her future.
After graduating, Mosley plans to attend law school with the hopes of becoming an attorney and then a judge, roles where she can continue making a difference in her community.