Finishing Strong: 2014 Graduate Samantha Brown

After attending the University of Georgia during her freshmen year of college, Samantha Brown didn't quite feel like she fit.

“It was too big of a setting,” she explains.

Brown transferred to Armstrong in the fall of 2011 before her sophomore year, and it was the best decision she has ever made.

“Armstrong was exactly what I was looking for,” she says. “The class sizes are perfect because they are small, and my professors know exactly who I am.”

Going to school to be a teacher herself, Brown knows the importance of a good classroom environment and the value of an engaged teacher. In fact, it's one of the biggest things she has learned in the college of education at Armstrong.

“You have to make learning fun,” she says. “A lot of students are not excited to learn, so if I can make it fun, they will take something away.”

Before going out on her own, Brown was given the opportunity to try different lesson plans and techniques as a student teacher in a real fifth grade classroom at Pulaski Elementary School in Savannah.

“I was thrown into the teaching world, and I got to see everything that goes along with the job,” she explains. 

Brown's move to Armstrong has truly allowed her to grow and flourish. She is a member of the education honor's society Kappa Delta Pi, the honor's society Phi Kappa Phi, and in April, she was awarded the Dean's Award for the College of Education, which recognizes an undergraduate or graduate student who exhibits exceptional promise.

On May 10, Brown will graduate Magna Cum Laude with her B.S. in Early Childhood Education. She plans to return to her home in Cumming, Ga., and teach the fourth or fifth grade. Though she is leaving Armstrong, she knows that she will always have the support of her professors.

“Many of the professors have offered to come into our classrooms and help in any way that they can,” she says. “It feels good knowing that I am leaving with such a support system behind me.”