An Open Field

How Sam Hosmer-Quint ’21 tackled soccer, the pandemic and a double major.

By Carolyn Ten Eyck '18

When Sam Hosmer-Quint ’21 was looking at colleges, he knew one thing for sure: he would be playing soccer. He toured a number of small liberal arts schools, trying to find a place that would offer a good mix of sports and academics. On his visit to Kenyon, he sat in on a class led by Rob Alexander, professor of economics and environmental studies. After the class, Alexander pulled Hosmer-Quint aside. “He talked with me for 45 minutes,” Hosmer-Quint said. “I was like, dang, if this is what Kenyon professors do with prospective students, what do they do with actual students? That kind of connection is really what cemented it for me.” 

As a student athlete, much of Hosmer-Quint’s first semester was spent doing all things soccer. Once the season ended and spring semester began, he began to explore what else Kenyon had to offer. “I joined ECO [the Environmental Campus Organization]. I joined the Young Democratic Socialists, Kenyon Students for Justice in Palestine. I started going to all of those meetings and meeting new people,” he said. “Out of season, you get a lot more time to open up and build on interests.”

In-person conversations and connections have been a hallmark of Hosmer-Quint’s Kenyon experience from the start. “One of the best things that I did [early on] was to go to the office hours of every professor that I took. Once a month, I would just make a point of trying to go,” Hosmer-Quint noted. “Even if I didn’t have a question, I’d find something to talk about with the professor and try to form some sort of connection.”

That summer, he interned at the Maryland Sierra Club. The summer after that, he interned at a migrant shelter in Tucson, Arizona. The summer after that? An internship with the Alliance for International Reforestation in Columbia, Missouri. His sophomore year, Hosmer-Quint took on two on-campus jobs, one working at the Lowry Center and another as an Apprentice Teacher for introductory Spanish classes. 

“I think being busy is really good for me, academically and socially and mentally,” said Hosmer-Quint, who decided to double major in Spanish and history

For someone who was used to taking five classes a semester and juggling multiple extracurriculars and jobs on top of a sport, going abroad during junior year was an adjustment. And then, a few months into Hosmer-Quint’s program in Cusco, Peru, an even bigger change: the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Finishing his classes virtually at home in Missouri, isolated both from his abroad experience and campus, was hard. So he shifted gears, taking what would have been the fall semester of his senior year off and working at BallotReady, an online, non-partisan voter guide for local elections, as a remote researcher. The following spring, he came back to campus to study in-person. Now, he’s finishing up his final semester in Gambier, and celebrating the end of his Kenyon journey at the 2021 December Senior Recognition Ceremony.

Coming back this fall meant playing soccer with his team again. “Undoubtedly,” said Chris Brown, head coach of men’s soccer, “[Hosmer-Quint] is the best defensive header of a ball in my time at Kenyon.” Their team went on to win 16 games that season, going all the way to the championship match of the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament, losing to Denison University by just one goal. “We had a good season — disappointing at the end,” Hosmer-Quint said. “Almost everyone’s season has to be disappointing in some way.”

Alongside his senior season, Hosmer-Quint has taken advantage of his last semester on campus by seeking out in-person connections with the community he’s been immersed in for four-and-a-half years. 

“I found, not a reconnection, but a new connection with professors this semester,” he reflected. “I’ve been trying to schedule meetings with a lot of the professors that I’ve had. Yesterday, I talked for an hour with my history advisor just about politics, life, things like that.”

For Hosmer-Quint, leaving Gambier still hasn’t quite sunk in. “I feel like I just haven’t thought about graduating yet,” he said. “I think having the soccer season end really started the goodbye process to Kenyon. Leaving in the middle of the [school year] is weird because I think we’re going to be back in a couple weeks. And then sometime in January, we’re going to be like, ‘oh wow, we’re not coming back, that was the end of it.’”

Perhaps typically, he’s been too busy to reflect much on the last four-and-a-half years. “In a lot of ways, I haven’t really thought back on everything to do with my time at Kenyon,” he said. “So I’m just looking forward. Forward, rather than looking back.”