Meet Our Students: Sam Holliday

In the Master of Public Policy program at William & Mary, we take great pride in our students. Each person in the program brings something special to the table and we are thrilled to shine the spotlight on them whenever we get the chance. This is Sam Holliday (’18). Sam is a second year BA/MPP in the Public Policy Analysis track and answered a few questions for us recently.

Sam Holliday

Where are you from?

I am from Washington, DC; my license plates say “Taxation Without Representation” and everything!

What brought you to the William & Mary Master of Public Policy Program?

I am part of the Accelerated Masters of Public Policy Program, in which the final year of my bachelors and the first year of my masters were combined. This provided me with the fantastic opportunity to pursue an advanced degree while remaining at William & Mary in lovely Williamsburg.

What is your favorite thing to do on campus?

I love attending musical and theatrical performances and Tribe athletic events. This campus is filled with such wonderfully talented individuals and surrounded by a vibrant community.

Favorite thing about the program?

My favorite part of the MPP Program is the people. The small cohort sizes and ample opportunities to grow closer as a group have helped make my classmates close friends that I will cherish for life.

What advice do you have for prospective graduate students who may be on the fence about applying to the W&M MPP program?

The William & Mary MPP program does a fantastic job preparing you for a career in public policy. Having had such a variety of academic experiences – everything from econometrics to election law – I feel prepared to tackle policy issues from many angles.

Where do you want to go from here?

Over my professional and academic career, I have developed a preference for Congressional policymaking and politics. I plan to work on Capitol Hill moving forward.

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies include photography, trying to improve my golf game, cooking with friends and family, and occasionally binge-watching great shows on Netflix.

Describe yourself in three words.

Affable, earnest, and scholarly.

Favorite book?

So difficult to choose! I’d have to say The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway – rarely have I encountered a novel which makes such wonderfully precise and sparing use of the English language that is yet so captivating.

If you could receive a message from future-you, what would you want it to say?

Your work has helped beyond the people you can see.

If you could meet one person in the world, living or dead, who would it be and why?

George Washington, to discuss what drove the man to extraordinarily yield his military power back to the people – like the ancient Cincinnatus – following the Revolution, and to share that the city he built and the government he led carry on more than two centuries later.

Anything else you would like us to know?

I’m also an ardent lover of classic films (if you couldn’t tell by my Movie Night* selections: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Rear Window).

What has been your favorite class so far and why? 

My favorite course has been Professor Wilkerson’s seminar on National Security; the wealth of knowledge he brings to class and shares freely with his students is incredible.

Who is your favorite professor/researcher you’ve worked with and why?

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both courses I’ve had with Professor Gilmour – he’s both knowledgeable and funny, leading to wonderful classes.


Thanks for sharing Sam! *Sam featured a few of his favorite films during our program’s movie nights hosted by the MPP Graduate Policy Association.


Stay tuned for more student spotlights. In the meantime, don’t forget to follow W&M MPP on Facebook and LinkedIn!

One thought on “Meet Our Students: Sam Holliday

  1. Sam, I’m so proud of you. You’re destined to be a great
    leader. Thank you W and M for filling his tool chest
    with so many of the tools that will help to propel him to the next tack on his journey.

    As always fair winds and following seas.

    Love you
    Uncle Carl


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