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Investing in Advocacy

December 13, 2023 Erica Hulse
Sam Fadel

“At first, I felt a little undeserving, but I was very grateful and honored to be recognized,” shared undergraduate student Sam Fadel when reflecting on being named as the Fall 2023 College of Business Outstanding Graduate and Outstanding Graduate in Economics and Finance, along with his recognition as Banner Bearer for the College as part of the University of Louisville’s upcoming commencement ceremonies. “I was proud of myself…oftentimes I think we get so caught up in what we’re doing [and] what we’re striving for we don’t take time to appreciate what we’ve accomplished and the things we’ve done,” he reflected.

Philanthropic Path

Earning dual bachelor’s degrees in business economics and finance while maintaining leadership roles in Beta Alpha Psi and the Student Organization Advisory Board and as a student tutor, Fadel has more than earned these prestigious recognitions. However, while he finds fulfillment in the quantitative nature of economics and finance, Fadel has and continues to be dedicated to giving back to others and the community. His dedication to philanthropy began as a member of his middle school Beta Club, where Fadel liked to volunteer his time when he could. He shared that “it was a nice and fulfilling thing to do…on the weekends, we would help out with Habitat for Humanity.”

Campus Connection

Drawn to the opportunity to attend in-person classes on the UofL campus, Fadel transferred from another university that provided only online-based business courses. Intending to complete coursework part-time, once he enrolled in classes, he realized this was where he wanted to earn his degree. “I knew that [UofL] would be more conducive to my learning style and just help me succeed better academically… after going part-time, I realized this is where I want to be. I liked my classes. I liked my professors. I liked my classmates. I liked just the general environment. So, I chose to stay here on a full-time basis.”

Volunteer Ventures

Noting the impact business faculty made on him during his time in the College, Fadel shared that the academic and leadership support of Beta Alpha Psi faculty advisor Lisa Blum, LLM, aided him in not only developing as a leader amongst his peers but also helped him to grow the organization during his tenure as president, resulting in rapid growth of the organization’s membership and visibility across the College. “[Dr. Blum] helped me a lot with building membership because, after the pandemic, our membership [had] dwindled,” he shared. Relaying his experience in Beta Alpha Psi as one of his most important collegiate experiences, Fadel noted, “That was meaningful because it…sparked my interest in becoming more involved in other activities…[and] realizing that I enjoy being part of an organization that does so many things and helps other students that don’t necessarily directly benefit me.”

Fadel also shared how the opportunity to take on a different type of leadership role as a tutor for undergraduate finance courses profoundly impacted him as both a learner and leader. “Tutoring is not anything I’ve done before,” said Fadel. “I think [for] a lot of people, if you ever assume that kind of role, you underestimate the knowledge required to teach something to someone. You have to have a solid grasp, and [it] kind of taught me humility because sometimes I didn’t know either, but also it taught me [that] it’s very fulfilling to get someone to understand something and to have that ‘aha’ moment.”

Defending Dreams

With a future geared toward bridging the worlds of finance and advocacy, Fadel plans to continue his educational journey as a law school student next fall to become a legal negotiator. He attributes this interest to one of his courses, which created “mock case negotiations where you have a prosecutor…a defense, [and]… emulates a real-life legal negotiation. My experience there exposed me to advocacy. I realized…I like[d] this aspect of advocating for [and] helping someone. I found it very fulfilling, like with tutoring.” With this insight, Fadel shifted his career goals toward this new and unfamiliar path. “I pivoted from the advocacy of finance to the financial side of advocacy. I still wanted to pursue finance because I like numbers, and that was something [I] was good at, but I wanted a more involved role in terms of advocating for clients in a legal setting.”

About the UofL College of Business:

Founded in 1953, The UofL College of Business fosters intellectual and economic vitality in our city, region, and the global business landscape. Our academic programs, research, community outreach initiatives, and commitment to student success inspire lives and businesses to flourish through entrepreneurship, innovation, critical thinking, diversity, and the power of people.

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