I share stories.
As the woman you often hear before you see, Samantha has big ideas to match her big personality. When it comes to storytelling, she welcomes the opportunity to experiment, assess and teach. A Southerner to the core, Samantha is Director of Digital Content Strategy for GateHouse Florida.
As a leader who manages people, her first mission is to give her team wings. She wants to ensure that the journalists she’s responsible for will thrive in the ever-changing digital space. She believes in cultivating a culture of innovation, experimentation and education within her team and finds ways to challenge them through platform-agnostic storytelling, 360-degree content distribution and audience-focused engagement strategies.
Samantha earned a Master’s in Journalism from Syracuse University where she was a Goldring Arts Fellow and a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing from Western Kentucky University. She’s been in the media industry since 2013, and prior to, spent nearly six years as an adjunct English professor.
In 2018, she was selected as a digital media trainer for the ONA Local Speaker’s Bureau. And she’s an active member of and coach for digitalwomenleaders.com after being one of 28 women chosen for the 2016 class of ONA-Poynter Women’s Leadership Academy.
Here’s my color.
I am inseparable from my father; for me, he hangs the moon at night and no one can convince me otherwise.
A diehard football fan, a seriously A+ trash talker (I was so good in fact, he put me in self defense class as a teen, for fear my mouth would get me into trouble my hands would have to get me out of.), a lover of songwriting — especially the blues and soul, and most importantly a road dog, his road dog. If daddy's travelin', I'm riding shotgun. It's been that way for as long as I can remember, and whenever I'm home, these daddy girl tendencies — talking sports, watching Jeopardy, frying fish, cruising the quiet streets of The Bible Belt — they come right back to me as quick and sure as the sun knows to rise each morning.
As for momma, she is my inspiration, my smile in the morning and laugh at night.
Because of her, I am thorough, organized, and can find a bargain like Garmin can find Timbuktu. I'm an animal lover, a dog-whisperer of sorts, and can always stand on common ground with anybody, no matter how different we appear to be.
Kentucky born and raised, I'm the communicator of the family. Whether with my mouth or with a pen, I've got words to share at all times. And jokes too. There's nothing better than being in the company of my older brother and two younger sisters reciting lines from Independence Day or The Sandlot while our parents look on in amazement that, even as adults, we could be so completely entertained by something so.. . simple.
Finally, there's my beloved, Anthony "Tony Dangerous/Kissing Bandit/Sunbae" Austin Jr. The man God made for me to love every day for the rest of my life. You'll see him as co-lead in most of my Instagram stories. He's a real good sport... always entertaining me and my jovial ways, even when he'd rather just be chillin'. The more I grow, the more I see he wasn't just made to love me but he was made to guide me. And I'm grateful to our God in heaven that He's put such clear vision in my Chocolate Drop, my compass.
Aside from family and my baby, there is little more important to me than my relationship with Jesus. I am proud to know Him, and honored to be known by Him. It is because of Him that a spirit of excellence resides within all that I do. And with this comes diligence, patience, persistence, and joy — non-negotiables as far as my professional life is concerned.
Some selected accolades
Graphic Design & Illustration Annual 2016
Vector Gold Design Annual 2015
Vanguard Noteworthy Opinion Art 2014
The Stylus on Paper
Beautiful Design Is