Samantha (Sam) Frey ’21

Sometimes an internship or externship can be just as significant when you find out what you don’t want to do.

Samantha Frey

Practically a first-generation student – her great grandfather had gone to college but no others in her family – Sam Frey attended Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School in Franklin, Mass. She thought someday she would do something with dentistry. An externship helped her realize that she liked talking with patients a lot more than she liked working on their teeth. That was the tip-off that psychology might be a better major in college, and Frey stumbled into Merrimack on a list of colleges close to home with that major.

As it turns out, Frey graduated in 2021 not just with a psychology major, she also has majors in women’s and gender studies and social justice. She will complete an intentional gap year after college working at the St. Joseph Worker Program in the Los Angeles Skid Row neighborhood. The Program creates a service opportunity for women in preparation for a life-long commitment to social change and personal transformation.

To say Sam Frey blossomed at Merrimack would be an understatement. A member of the Honors Program, she credits much of her growth to the influence of Ellen McWhorter, associate professor of English and director of the Honors Program, and Lisa Cavallaro, associate director of the Honors Program. The Program has four pillars: community, service, research and leadership – all of which gave Frey room to grow and create a holistic college experience. In April 2021, she was recognized with the William J. Murry, O.S.A. Award at the Merrimack LEAD awards virtual ceremony in recognition of her character, spirit and contribution to the community.

She is actively involvement in the Unity House, which is a student-run organization that promotes diversity and multiculturalism and seeks to spark a campus-wide movement. Through this experience and the Honors Program, Frey made fabulous connections with other students as well as staff members Preston Croteau, assistant Dean of Students, and Peter Rojas, director of Student Involvement. Frey states, “I needed an internship for my social justice major and Peter enlisted me to work with him on multicultural Initiatives. That has me wondering if working in higher education could be in my future.”

Frey is weighing options that may include pursuing a master’s in psychology, work in the non-profit sector, or focusing on diversity issues in or out of higher education. When asked what motivates her Frey replies, “I am so grateful to the incredible faculty, staff and students at Merrimack who have influenced my life’s path. Now, I want to use my privilege to help other people,” she concludes.

Samantha Frey appreciates the alumni, parents and friends of Merrimack College whose support provides students with so many opportunities. She knows that her experiences at Merrimack wouldn’t have been possible without their generosity and their gifts to The Merrimack Fund.

Major(s): Psychology, Social Justice and Women’s & Gender Studies

Activities: Honors Program, Unity House, DEI Ambassador, “Be the Cause” Facilitator 

Awards/Recognition: William J. Murry, O.S.A. LEAD Award, 2021 Undergraduate Commencement Student Speaker