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Sam Barbara ’04, ’06

Photo of Sam Barbara Professor, Westminster College

Major: Music; Master's in Teaching 

My time at the University of Portland truly laid the groundwork for my career. I use skills that I learned at UP every day in my work as an assistant professor of music and director of choral activities at Westminster College in Pennsylvania.

One of my professors heavily influenced who I am—as a person, an educator, and a conductor. He provided me with personal attention and opportunities I never would have had at a larger college, including conducting a professional chamber orchestra. He gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams.

Studying abroad in Salzburg, Austria, was one of the best decisions I ever made, and that experience led to me receiving a Fulbright scholarship to study in Germany. Afterwards, I returned to UP and received a master’s in teaching, and then followed my passion for music education and earned a doctorate in choral music at the University of Southern California.

The friends I made at UP are some of the kindest and most passionate people I know. My fellow Salzburgers and I support an annual scholarship that assists other study abroad students with travel expenses. I am proud that we are helping give others access to opportunities that were so transformative for us.