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Meet Samantha Manaway

Samantha Manaway“And nothing shows more strength than finding a particle of goodness in the worst of situations.” This statement could not be truer after the year we just experienced- the strength needed to overcome adversity derives from our ability to find the good in the midst of life’s worst situations. Student leader and Hattiesburg native, Samantha Manaway, found goodness in the adversities presented by 2020 and concluded the year in a huge way. Samantha was presented with the opportunity to step in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City with the Zeta Phi Beta Centennial Steppers. “This experience warms my heart daily because I was representing myself, my chapter, my state, and everyone who knew me at that moment.” She said this was one of her proudest accomplishments last year. 

Samantha is currently a senior majoring in child and family sciences with an emphasis in family relations. She has aspirations of pursuing a career as a Marriage and Family Therapist upon graduation. “The pandemic has greatly impacted my outlook on the future by helping me realize my true calling within my career. Samantha understood the importance of becoming flexible, adaptable and patient in the face our new normal. “The pandemic has shown me that the world is full of so many new ideas that we possibly would have never tapped into if not for the adversities we faced last year.”  

Samantha loves a challenge and prides herself on serving her community through her involvement with a variety of student organizations. She is very involved at Southern Miss and is an active member of a number of organizations ranging from: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Golden Eagle Welcome Week (GEWW) Leader and Executive Board Member, McNair Scholar, Women’s Empowerment Association and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society- just to name a few.

The acceptance and implementation of the DSA mission has aided in Samantha’s journey as she has learned to navigate through the COVID-19 global pandemic. “I have remained healthy through physical distancing and transitioning to virtual ways of communication. I have grown into quite the social butterfly over the years and COVID-19 did bring my social life to a pause, but I have learned to cease the moments I can still create. I have remained focused on my schoolwork through self-motivation and being proactive with my assignments. I set alarms, place my phone on “do not disturb” and sometimes hide it from myself to cut down on distractions. These are methods to success I plan to continue for years to come.” 

In her free time, she enjoys surrounding herself with family and friends and indulging in fun activities. She enjoys listening to music, eating good food and having a great time. “Laughter is the best medicine, especially during a pandemic.” 

Samantha truly embodies the Golden Eagle mentality, and as she continues to discover her path to the top, there is no doubt that she will SOAR. 

Written by Amber Sumrall
Marketing Communications Manager
Division of Student Affairs
(Date: January 28, 2021)

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