Inspiring Graduate: Muhammad 'Sammy' Samim, M.S. Marriage & Family Therapy

‘In challenges and triumphs, I have discovered the light within myself – the light of knowledge.’
May 6, 2024

Inspiring Graduate: Muhammad 'Sammy' Samim (’24)

As an immigrant from the picturesque valleys of Kashmir, Pakistan, hailing from the rich cultures of South Asia, and practicing the Islamic faith, Muhammad "Sammy" Samim sought an environment that would not only accept but cherish his unique background. 

Sammy was attracted to UW-Stout because of its reputation for embracing diversity and inclusion. 

“The university went beyond my expectations, welcoming me with open arms and providing me with an education that is nothing short of excellent. The plethora of opportunities I encountered have nurtured me, shaping my personal and professional growth in ways I had never anticipated,” he said.

Sammy earned his master’s in marriage and family therapy on May 4, along with 1,037 graduates.

Inspiring grad, Muhammad 'Sammy' Samim
Sammy receives his master's hood at commencement / UW-Stout

“As I reflect on my UW-Stout experience, I am reminded of the words of the poet Rumi, who said, ‘The wound is the place where the light enters you,’” Sammy said.

“In challenges and triumphs, I have discovered the light within myself – the light of knowledge, resilience and boundless potential. I am grateful for the journey that has brought me to this moment, and I am excited for the adventures that lie ahead.”

How has your UW-Stout education changed you?

UW-Stout has been a journey of metamorphosis, where the cocoon of academia enveloped me, only to emerge as a butterfly of knowledge and self-discovery. Each lecture, each discussion, and each interaction with my peers and mentors acted as brushstrokes on the canvas of my soul, painting a portrait of resilience, wisdom and boundless potential. 

Through challenges and triumphs, I shed the constraints of ignorance and emerged as a seeker of truth, armed with the wings of curiosity and the eyes of introspection.

My experiences as an immigrant, the passion I harbor for Stout, and the important life skills I've gained here have shaped me into who I am today.

How well has UW-Stout prepared you to work in your field and why?

Inspiring grad Muhammad 'Sammy' Samim
Sammy near the Bowman Hall Clock Tower / UW-Stout

UW-Stout has been the crucible in which the raw ore of my potential was forged into the tempered steel of competence and expertise. Like a master blacksmith, the university’s curriculum shaped and molded me, imbuing me with the skills and knowledge necessary to wield the tools of my trade with precision and efficacy. 

Through experiential learning and real-world applications, I honed my craft, emerging as a seasoned artisan ready to forge new pathways and illuminate the darkness with the light of understanding.

The steadfast commitment of the university to deliver quality education and its student-centric approach stand out as its hallmarks, facilitating a nurturing environment for students to thrive.

What stands out about your UW-Stout experience?

What sets UW-Stout apart is not merely the sum of its parts but the symphony of experiences that compose its essence. It is the sage wisdom of professors who served as mentors and guides, nurturing the seeds of potential with the waters of knowledge. It is the alchemy of great labs where theory meets practice, transforming abstract concepts into tangible realities. It is the internship opportunities that served as crucibles of transformation, refining raw talent into polished expertise. 

Yet, beyond these tangible manifestations lies the intangible spirit of UW-Stout – a spirit of innovation, collaboration and boundless possibility.

How did your involvement on campus impact your experience?

My involvement in various clubs, organizations, and receiving prestigious awards and scholarships has profoundly enriched my experience at UW-Stout and contributed to my growth as an intern therapist.

Receiving a Minority Fellowship from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy for the 2023-24 academic year was a pivotal moment in my journey. It not only provided financial support but also opened doors to a community of professionals in the field of marriage and family therapy.


Two UW-Stout marriage and family therapy students receive national Minority Fellowships

Vue, Samim dedicated to strengthening cultural competency through prestigious programs
Continue Reading

Representing UW-Stout at the 2024 AAMFT Leadership Symposium was a humbling experience that broadened my perspective and allowed me to learn from esteemed leaders in the field. 

These opportunities not only expanded my knowledge but also instilled in me a sense of responsibility to give back to my community and advocate for the importance of mental health awareness and support.

Additionally, being awarded the Narrative Exposure Therapy training scholarship by the Minnesota Trauma Recovery Institute was a transformative experience. It equipped me with specialized skills to address the complex needs of individuals who have experienced trauma, further enhancing my efficacy as a therapist. 

These scholarships not only facilitated my professional development but also reinforced my commitment to lifelong learning and continuous improvement.

What challenges did you face in earning your degree and how did you overcome them?

In the labyrinth of academia, I encountered myriad challenges that tested the strength of my spirit and the depth of my resolve. Like Odysseus navigating the treacherous seas, I faced the sirens of self-doubt and the cyclops of adversity. 

Yet, with the guidance of mentors who served as beacons of wisdom and the companionship of fellow travelers, I navigated the turbulent waters with courage and determination. I drew strength from the stories of perseverance etched in the annals of history, knowing that every obstacle was but a steppingstone on the path to enlightenment.

What are you most proud of as you finish your degree?

As I stand on the threshold of graduation, I am most proud of the journey I have undertaken – the journey of self-discovery, growth and transformation. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I have emerged from academia, reborn as a beacon of knowledge, wisdom and compassion. 

My journey at UW-Stout has been a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the boundless potential that lies within each of us. As I spread my wings and embark on the next chapter of my odyssey, I carry with me the lessons learned, the memories cherished and the dreams yet to be realized.

Knowledge, humility, compassion, gratitude, honesty, integrity, motivation, confidence, respect, responsibility, work ethics, self-discipline, creativity, ethics and morals – these are the gifts I have received from Stout. 

For me, Stout is more than just a university; it is a beacon of hope, a resilient flower blooming in a barren land, a steadfast star shining in the vast night sky. It represents the force that keeps me moving forward, even when the odds are against me, reminding me of the infinite possibilities that await in the world beyond.

Inspiring Graduates

All Inspiring Graduates News
Inspiring Graduates Share Their Stout Experiences Featured Image

Inspiring Graduates Share Their Stout Experiences

Celebrate our graduates as they cross the commencement stage and reflect on the journey that brought them here
Inspiring Graduate: Lauren Arenz, B.S. Early Childhood Education Featured Image

Inspiring Graduate: Lauren Arenz, B.S. Early Childhood Education

‘My experiences at UW-Stout have made a monumental difference helping me to better understand my future aspirations in life.’
Inspiring Graduate: Genevieve Czaplewski, B.S. Applied Social Science Featured Image

Inspiring Graduate: Genevieve Czaplewski, B.S. Applied Social Science

‘I looked for a place where I could simultaneously feel at home and be challenged academically, socially and athletically. Stout ticked all those boxes.’