About Samantha Tirrell

If you talk to students and alumni about their Russell Sage College experience, it doesn’t take long for a theme to emerge: the student/teacher relationship is unusually close.

Samantha Tirrell has her own way of describing this phenomenon:

“The professors at Sage are like gardeners. They knew a lot about what I needed to thrive and grow. And they knew how to push me. I actually felt this right away, by the third week of classes.”

Sam, a student in the Honors program, with a double major in English and Theatre, wouldn’t want you to think her view about the Sage student/professor is all about the warm and fuzzies.

“You also find out pretty quickly that there is nowhere to hide at Sage,” she says. “The professors expect you to do your best work. They aren’t going to let you coast.”

Sam didn’t. She went to three national conferences and her work won prizes. Her accomplishments were notable enough for her to gain entrance to graduate school at Yale, where she got her Master of Fine Arts in Drama.

Sam points to the Honors program’s Oxford-Style Tutorials as having been especially beneficial to her. They put a strong emphasis on writing and critical discourse. Sam believes this molded her into a strong writer and critical thinker.

Currently, Sam is working at the Troy Foundry Theatre. She hopes, once the theatre world comes out from under the smothering effects of COVID-19, to eventually have a career in New York City as a stage manager. She feels confident she will.

She credits Sage with having built that confidence within her.

“I think everyone at Sage comes to you believing that you have a capacity for excellence,” she says. “And you are fully supported. I have two professors that I still talk to a lot. You make relationships at Sage that last a lifetime.”


"Everyone at Sage comes to you believing that you have a capacity for excellence. And you are fully supported. ”

Samantha Tirrell