Sam Blaufuss

Sam Blaufuss is a senior majoring in journalism with an emphasis in strategic communications with a minor in business. He is from Newton, Kansas. Sam has lived in the scholarship halls, where he has been on the executive board until this year. He has participated in KJHK, helped with videography for the KU School of Business and is a Student Ambassador. 

I had 13 classmates at my K-8 Catholic school; my lack of exposure to diverse ways of thinking up through high school made me very aloof and close-minded. At KU, I’ve been lucky enough to meet people of various upbringings, nationalities and perspectives. Learning to understand what can make a person who they are has changed the way I view everything. These days I feel open-minded, vulnerable and involved with others. I’m proud to know the friends I’ve made here.

I like this one Arabic proverb: “The nature of the rain is the same, yet it creates thorns in the marsh and flowers in the garden.” Circumstances don’t rule your life; it’s the way you choose to react to said circumstances. I think happiness is a decision you make every day – will you be a marsh or a garden?

My most memorable J-School professor is who else but Kerry Benson. She puts an incredible effort into simply existing every single day. Imagine a world where everyone got up in the morning and grabbed life by the horns the way she does.

When I graduate I will always remember walking campus/Lawrence at night. I miss it so much already.

My dream job is to produce a show similar to Dirty Jobs or 30 Days. I think there’s so much to be learned from the everyday experiences of others that we often overlook. I love the way people open up when you’re truly interested in why they do what they do.

Sam is inspired by music. He has a playlist he turns to where he goes to listen to songs with lyrics that resonate with him. If he’s having a particularly bad day, his go-to song is “Have You Been Good to Yourself” by Johnnie Frierson. If he wants to start his day off right, he turns on the playlist for some upbeat songs. He’s also inspired by good movies. He likes to focus on video production, to him it doesn’t matter what the movie is about, but what does matter is the love someone puts into creating something great.

Sam chose to major in Journalism by first searching for schools and prioritizing those with video production and film programs. He originally started as a film and strat comm double major but later chose to focus his skills on production through just strat comm. His interest in advertising brought him to look into strategic communications where he met with Steve Rottinghaus and learned more about the potential careers that are possible after majoring in strategic communications, all of which fit his interest.

In the future, Sam would like to find a good place to start his career. He has thoughts of working for an advertising agency or being a production assistant for documentaries. Specifically, docuseries like the New York Times produces are of interest to him. Being able to go to work as an essential worker during the statewide shutdown for COVID-19 has brought him peace of mind, which is why he wants to prioritize finding a career post-graduation. “More than anything,” he says, “I’d like to be a good example for those around me.”

Sam thinks people should know that you get what you put in. You can get in touch with the faculty, some of which he says, “are pretty cool people.” You can go to career fairs, do interesting things and just find ways to get involved. He thinks most of what there is to learn in the J-School is experiential. 

Since Sam has lived on campus up until his junior year, he likes to go to the rec and go for walks around campus. While that wasn’t the main reason he became a student ambassador, it is something he enjoys. Sometimes he thinks even just walking home from the rec is nice. He likes the space at night because it’s peaceful and well-lit so he finds it relaxing to go for a nice walk when nobody’s on campus.

The most influential thing he has been a part of was a club that he got involved in during his sophomore year of high school called Business Professionals of America. The club had a video event where he and his friends submitted a video and one of the judges “went off, in a good way,” on their video. It inspired him to take video seriously and look at it as a potential career. From that point on, he focused on growing those skills to make that possible. 

The people who Sam admires most are self-realized, comfortable with who they are, optimistic and find the silver lining. He admires those who are focused on keeping themselves happy but also lift others up - cheerful people. “They say a happy person doesn’t have problems,” he said. “A cheerful person has problems, but doesn’t let those problems get them down.”

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