Campus & Community

Undergraduate student president just one entry on junior’s DU resume

Balancing campus activities, schoolwork and fun can be a challenging task, but one DU student tackles all three and makes it look easy.

Junior Sam Estenson, the Undergraduate Student Government president, is involved in a multitude of activities at the University. Originally from the small town of Northfield, Minn., Estenson saw attending DU as an adventure.

“Colorado has this image of excitement and opportunity — that’s why we’re the Pioneers,” he says. “For me, choosing DU was choosing a riskier option. Now that I’m here, I realize what a perfect fit it is.”

Estenson is pursuing a dual degree in intercultural communications (a self-designed major) and foreign languages (Spanish, German and Japanese), with minors in leadership and business. He has been on the Programming Board for the past two years; he works as a foreign language tutor at the Center for World Languages and Cultures, where he also is a board member; and he leads campus tours as part of Team 1864.

Estenson’s passion for learning about other cultures stemmed from his gap year before coming to DU, when he traveled to Japan through the Rotary Youth Exchange. The experience, he says, “opened a completely new window to the world.”

Funded by a Partners in Scholarship research grant, Estenson traveled to Spain and Latin America this summer to research the intersection of youth culture, language and geography. He has conducted similar research in Germany and Denmark.

Estenson also is involved in planning for the presidential debate Oct. 3, serving as student coordinator for the DebateFest that will be held on campus the same day. “We’ve been collaborating with all the different stakeholders and making sure that the student voice is heard and that students are excited about it because it’s going to be such a defining moment for DU,” he says.

Carl Johnson, director of campus activities and Estenson’s student government adviser, believes Estenson will have a huge influence during his time as president.

“I have great faith in Sam,” Johnson says. “He has great leadership qualities and has the ability to do great things.”

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