Sam Harris, Field Organizer for “Amy for America” – Amy Klobuchar’s presidential campaign – helps execute campaign operations in New Hampshire. Focusing on various communities and thousands of voters, Harris always finds himself right in the middle of the action. The thrill of working on projects that are larger than life and impact millions of people has always excited this University of Arkansas alumnus.
Harris, a member of the Honors College, graduated in three years with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and a minor in agricultural leadership. He always knew that Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences was a great fit for him. According to him, “Bumpers College is top notch and you have access to its amazing research faculty and freedom to explore and take advantage of many wonderful opportunities and leadership roles.”
Harris took all those opportunities offered by the college and the U of A and grew tremendously as an individual, student and global citizen. He focused his energy on alleviating world hunger and minimizing food insecurity across the world. In 2014, he researched abroad in India and his study on how to improve agricultural practices in remote Indian villages won him the World Food Prize Foundation’s Elaine Szymoniak Top Research Award as well as Presidential Community Service Award. In 2016, Harris traveled to Ho An, Vietnam, with fellow U of A students and led an innovative and environmentally friendly project. Under Harris’ leadership, the U of A students installed bio-digester systems that converted animal waste to fuel for heating, cooking and similar purposes. In 2017, he went on a pilot research exchange project in Dangriga, Belize, where he worked towards giving rural farmers access to vital information that would increase food security.
Harris also worked as Field Organizer for ‘Conner Eldridge for U.S. Senate’ in 2016. “Connor has been a great mentor and friend to me and does such good work for the Northwest Arkansas region and the University of Arkansas.” Harris helped organize the largest voter registration drive in the county’s history and, along with Washington Co. Democrats and University of Arkansas Young Democrats (UAYDs), was responsible for a 20 percent increase in voter registration from the previous national election in Washington County.
Throughout his time at the U of A, Harris remained involved in projects, volunteering efforts and local politics that had significant impact. He was president of the Student Organization Outreach Involvement Experience (SOOIE), chair of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences Honors Student Board, member of the Bumpers College Dean Search Student Advisory Committee, assistant director of sponsorship for the Student Alumni Board, and involved with the Associated Student Government, as well as UAYDs.
In 2017, this Greenbrier native was selected as a Truman Scholar. “The experience was humbling, daunting and life-changing. I learned so much about myself and how I can make a difference in the world. Being selected as a Truman Scholar opened the doors to so many great moments and chances in my life.”
In the summer of 2018, Harris interned in Washington D.C. in the department of agriculture and worked to provide single-family housing guaranteed loans. Soon after, he left for the University of Cambridge to study International Development. Harris completed graduate school and returned to the U.S. in August 2019.
While his current job in the political arena keeps him quite busy, Harris misses NW Arkansas and his Home on the Hill. “NWA is such a great place to live. It is so progressive, the people here are so open and accepting, and it is generally a very inclusive community.” The thing he is the most proud of his alma mater for is the fact that it competes with the likes of colleges and universities like Yale and Harvard while being a State University. “The U of A has had more scholars in the last 20 years than any State University and the network this institute leaves you with is amazing. You will see alumni doing really great things across the globe, and one of my professors at the University of Cambridge was a visiting faculty here at the University of Arkansas, which just goes to show how great and humble we truly are.”