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Student Feature: Samantha Gortmaker

Student Feature: Sam Gortmaker

Meet Brookings native Samantha Gortmaker! She is a senior with an economics major and history, legal studies and aerospace studies minors.

Samantha chose South Dakota State University because of the student-oriented culture. “I feel heard and valued among amazing faculty that want to see me succeed in my dreams,” she said. 

Samantha chose to pursue her degree because of the foundation social studies has for economics. “You can hardly study the past or look into the future without understanding the economic machine and social change that makes it all churn!” she said. 

While studying social studies and economics, she found her home. Samantha enjoys the learning environment and encouraging atmosphere of the Ness School of Management and Economics. “The school is built around supporting students,” she said. “I feel like every professor is a mentor, ready to open their doors to my curiosity in research and writing. It’s a family here!”

On campus, Samantha is a cadet in the Air Force ROTC program, a member of the SDSU Concert Choir, a leader in the Navigators Ministry and an Honors College student, and she couldn’t be happier! “The people I get to work with all want to see each other succeed, building an incredible environment of support,” she said. 

Samantha’s advice to other SDSU students is to try new things. “My best advice to students is that if they're scared to do something new on campus, instead of waiting for the courage to do it, just do it scared!” she said. “It pays off.”

In the future, Samantha sees herself working as a junior intelligence officer in the air force, using her education as a platform to serve and defend our country.