Hannah Maloney ’17  |   Published March 28, 2017

Philosophy and arts

Sampson ’16 says both disciplines are central to his future
  • Ryian Sampson ’16 says philosophy and the arts are central to his future
Ryian Sampson ’16 says studying philosophy at Monmouth College helped him develop a philosophy for life.

Sampson, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Hanover Park, Ill., says he feels fortunate to have taken so many thought-provoking philosophy courses at Monmouth and has taken those teachings and applied them to his own personal theories. His senior thesis about the “Power of Art” was his “attempt at pulling together everything I had learned and turning it to a very real issue that plagues communities worldwide.”

He added: “There is always an ‘out group,’ and they come in many forms. How is it that we can use the arts to give them a voice? What is that voice saying and how loudly is it crying out? How can we bring more attention to something that is troubling our fellow human beings? My thesis is something that has been pushing me ever since I left Monmouth College.”

Not long after graduating, Sampson landed a full-time position at the Midwest-based IT firm ITsavvy. He eventually plans to pursue a recording arts degree with the goal of building his own record label.

“No matter what I do, I always plan to keep the arts central to my plan,” he said. “I want to be able to bring different groups of individuals together and enrich communities by making the arts a central pillar to their livelihood. What we can do to defy things like oppression and injustice with song, poem, painting, dance, performance and fashion. … I work toward that end.”

Sampson initially chose to study at Monmouth because he liked the idea of small class sizes set in a slow-paced town.

Looking back, what he loved most about the College was being around so many familiar faces and being able to learn about their different experiences and perspectives.

“Everyone is always learning and evolving around you,” he said. “I couldn’t help but come to love the people who would suffer through 8 a.m. classes, polar vortexes and ‘caf’ food with me. The community of people who I came to graduate with made my college experience what it was.”

Sampson’s decision to study philosophy was made after taking the class “Introduction to Liberal Arts” with Dan Ott, a professor who teaches primarily philosophy and religious studies courses.

“He must have planted little seeds in my mind as I swear only these professors can,” said Sampson. He also credits, Ott’s departmental colleague, Professor Hannah Schell for challenging him to push the boundaries of his thinking in his first ethics course.

Sampson said what he enjoyed most about his philosophy courses was the ability to bounce different ideas, interpretations and methods of thinking off of his classmates.

“It is a beautiful thing to engage in discussion with other bright minds, collectively come to a better understanding of an idea in an abstract form, and be a witness to it,” said Sampson.
Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/offices/global-engagement/" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> While we have the Wells Theater on campus, the Theatre department also uses the block-box auditorium Fusion Theatre downtown Monmouth.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/theatre/" target="_blank">Theatre</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Textbooks are included in the cost of tuition at Monmouth College. No need to try to plan for an additional expense, and our students start each semester fully prepared for classes. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/tuition-fees/" target="_blank">Tuition & Fees</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthscots.com/" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Services</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi, two of the oldest sororities, were founded at Monmouth in the 1860’s. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/academics/only-at-monmouth/educational-garden-farm/" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>