GODFREY – With a focus on science, communication and inclusivity, Lewis and Clark Community College student Sam Copeland certainly made the most of his freshman year in 2020-21, and he’s far from done.
In addition to being a member of the L&C Honors College, Student Government Association, Active Minds and LC Pride, Copeland also serves as the student trustee for the L&C Board of Trustees.
“I quickly found that being a part of clubs and activities gave me a real sense of the college’s inclusiveness," he said. “In every one of the clubs I’m a part of, the diversity and acceptance is beautiful. There’s a beautiful campus culture here."
In his first year at L&C, Copeland says he hoped to have a positive influence with his peers regarding the struggles that came with the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving forward, he hopes to have an impact with the transition back to normality on campus.
“Throughout the year I spoke with many other students who were just having a really tough time with COVID,” he said. “Now, a lot of classmates I talk to are having an even tougher time trying to adapt back to normal life. I'm doing whatever I can to help the transition go well and that students are happy.”
Copeland said it’s important to help prepare all students for life on campus, as this fall won’t be a new experience for just incoming freshmen.
“I want to make sure we’re out ahead of providing the information everyone needs for a return to campus,” he said. “It’s important that students have access to campus tours this summer, for example. So many students have already spent a semester or two with L&C, but have never really been on campus.”
Through his participation with Honors College, Copeland also has played an influential part in providing science education and information to both students and the public. He said the availability of scientific information and data became especially important with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.
“A lot of the work I do for the Honors College is all about opening up the scientific information we have, and any sort of research, open to the public free of charge and easily accessible online,” Copeland said. “That's a big thing in the science world that I'm trying to advocate for.”
Copeland said the Honors College has made an extremely positive impact on him early in his higher education. Coordinator Jen Cline and Assistant Coordinator Peter Hussey have been especially influential, he added.
“The work they do is just amazing,” Copeland said. “They really boost every student in the Honors College. Not a lot of people know it exists, but I really want to hope I get that message out there as well.”
Cline said Copeland perfectly embodies the Honors College.
“We have been fortunate to have Sam as an Honors College student, and our student worker for the program,” she said. “He is organized, compassionate, driven and diplomatic. All of these traits make him a powerhouse of a student. As our student trustee, he’s also a service to the campus and community, which he will represent well. We are honored to know him and support him in this endeavor.”
Copeland doesn’t yet have a specific career in mind, but says he hopes to be a strong advocate for science and communication.
The Civic Memorial High School graduate was awarded the Roberts Motors Endowed Scholarship during this spring's Honors College Expo.