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Wonder Woman Whillock

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winona chapter.

With graduation less than a year behind her Sam Whillock has achieved more than one could imagine. She’s sitting at Oprah Winfrey status with her accomplishments, and this is just the beginning.

To highlight, ever so briefly Sam’s work

1.     Got a big girl job right after graduation.

2.     Started her own photography company.


Graduating with a B.A. in Mass Communication with a professional studies minor focusing on photography and child advocacy, Sam has a pretty wide variety of interests and passions.  Sam took these degrees and received a job at The USA High School Clay Target League the Monday after graduation. This gave her a “very abrupt ending to knowing what ‘summer’ meant”.  Her daily tasks for this new and growing company included and range from helping set up/facilitate tournaments, maintaining social media outlets and working on their websites.

But having a new career is only one aspect of this busy woman’s life.  Samantha Whillock Photography, her beautiful picture taking business has been in the works for a while but recently just updated her online portfolio. When asked about her photography Sam responded with “I am a freelance photographer, yes. I shoot weddings, senior portraits, engagements, and family. Basically anything someone wants photos of, I’m your girl. I already have four weddings booked for this summer/fall. I am very excited about it all!” Not only does this girl have the skills she has the desire and creativity to capture all types of beauty.

Sam took her success with photography and turned it into one of the best things to ever happen; punography. Instagram is where her idea for punography first began, by posting puns and photos together. Sam used the hashtag #MyLifeAsAPunstar, which later turned into the name of her self published book. Sam’s instagram account received great feedback on her pun posts and she decided to do something more with them. She combined her photography and creative wordsmith skills together to create her book. This funny and innovative book can be purchased online at www.mylifeasapunstar.wordpress.com. Sam also added this little note during our interview for all future readers: *disclaimer- if you suffer from a lack of a sense of humor this book is not made for you.

While reading this you might be thinking to yourself, how does she do all of this? Lists. Sam uses lists to get everything done. When she has a list of things to do she makes sure she gets them done. A routine also helps her be able to juggle all the daily tasks she has going on which includes work, her photography, marketing her book, knitting and saving time to watch “New Girl” every Tuesday.  Sam also does her best at squeezing in a social life as well, which she believes to be a job in itself.

The inspiration for all things creative in Sam’s life comes from the books she reads the people she meets and of course, Pinterest. Instagram has also done it’s part in providing inspiration for Sam, she follows people that have similar hobbies to her and feeds off their ideas.

While she has done a lot in this past year, Sam’s favorite thing she has accomplished would be her book and self-publishing it. Publishing a book has been a dream of hers for as long she remembers. Going through the experience proved to her that, “if you work your rear end off, and have a barrel full of faith in yourself even when the haters are hatin’, you can really truly do anything.” When asked if she was planning on publishing another book, Sam gave us the answer that she will be working on marketing her first one and reading the ones she hasn’t gotten around to yet.  Sam also said someday she wants to write a children’s book, so make sure to keep your eye out for that!

Being that Sam is a Winona grad; we asked what she missed most about Winona and what she would have changed about her time there.  Her very first answer was her friends, hands down. She misses living in either the same house or living less than a block away.  Sam also misses the ever so good tasting paninis from our local restaurant Blooming Grounds, and her boss from her on campus job, Sue. Sam also responded saying she wishes she would have spent more time discovering and adventuring in the city of Winona, including going canoeing and paddle boarding more. Sam wishes she had discovered the jalapeño wontons with blueberry dipping sauce from the Boat House the very second they opened.  She thinks everyone needs to try them.

With everything this girl has done and plans to do, the whole world needs to be on the lookout for what’s next from her. Watch out world, Sam is coming and ready to kill it.




Haley is a senior at Winona State University studying advertising and Studio Art, she is originally from Madison Wisconsin; Haley attended Winona State for a change of scenery. Her favorite food is hummus, which she likes to enjoy while binge watching Law and Order SVU. Her style and life icons include Kat Von D, Tyra Banks, and Audrina Partridge. Her favorite movie is Super Star, which happens to include one of her favorite actresses Molly Shannon. In her free time Haley likes to do her part to save the environment and enjoy tropical drinks. Haley also has a passion for art and design, which she believes you can see anywhere.
Miranda is currently a Winona State University senior studying mass communication with an emphasis in advertising and is also pursing a graphic design degree. In addition to being Winona State’s Campus Correspondent, she is also the president of WSU’s Advertising Federation club. When she’s not busy binge watching One Tree Hill for the umpteenth time, you can find her working on her longboards, which she creates from scratch. She is a Diet Coke addict and indie music enthusiast filled with passion and imagination. She plans to get out of chilly Minnesota to find internship opportunities after graduation.