Andy Samuel named January Leader in Action

Jan 2020 Leader In Action Andy Samuel
January 2020 Leader In Action Andy Samuel

Burnsville, Minn. native Andy Samuel is a Leader in Action in and outside the classroom.

The double-major senior is a thrower on the University’s track-and-field team, serves his fellow student-athletes as the chair of the student-athlete advisory committee, shoots and edits video for UND Insider and maintains an honor-roll academic record.

Samuel’s videography experience at UND lead to a summer internship with NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. In the summer of 2019, Samuel was the only intern there from a Midwestern university, he said.

“Driving through Johnson Space Center, it was like ‘Holy cow,’” said Samuel who majors in communication and sociology. “I’m actually here for the moon landing celebrations. I’m at this place; you know, ‘Houston, we have a problem.’ I’m at that actual Houston base. So it was crazy, but I definitely didn’t take it for granted.”

At such a historic site, Samuel’s major project appeared quite fitting. Along with starting a “Fun Fact Friday” social media campaign for the agency, he researched and produced a video series titled “One Small Step” that explored NASA’s past and present.

Later in his internship, an even bigger moment occurred: NASA nominated Samuel’s “One Small Step” project for a Webby Award, the definitive prize for digital excellence.

“I was super excited and just honored that NASA thought it is good enough to be submitted for an award like that,” Samuel said.

Samuel’s Leader in Action story appears in the advertorial pages of select Forum Communications newspapers this week. You can watch and read more about Samuel at

About UND’s Leaders in Action:

Leaders in Action serves as the tagline of UND’s brand identity. Implemented in 2017, the phrase reflects the character and caliber of students the University attracts and prepares for the current and future demands of the state, nation and world.