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Niagara University alumnus speaks about time as a prisoner in Syria

Sam Goodwin, a 2012 grad, was back on campus with his "Winning Through Uncertainty" presentation.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — Niagara University welcomed alumnus Sam Goodwin back to campus. Goodwin's "Winning Through Uncertainty" presentation focused on his time as a prisoner in Syria back in 2019.

During his 9-week imprisonment, he experienced solitary confinement, a sham trial, and blindfolded interrogations.

"I was scared and confused. I had no information or anyone to help. I was desperately trying to understand what was happening. But I've learned we're all stronger and more resilient than we imagine and uncertain times are exactly what we need in order to grow. I'm nothing special, I just found the strength inside of me that we all have within ourselves" said Goodwin.

Significant discussions and negotiations, plus the help of a third-party mediator led to Goodwin's release. 

After being released, Goodwin was surrounded by a strong support system to help with his reintegration back into normal life.

For those who attended the presentation, Goodwin hopes they see that we're all stronger than we know and that they "look at the challenges that they're facing and look at ways to approach those in an effective way and to grow through that uncertainty and those challenges."

Sam Goodwin was the final speaker in this year's Niagara University Speaker Series. He earned his B.A. in communication studies and French from Niagara University and was a member of the NU Division 1 hockey team.

The 2022 Niagara University speaker series featured Dr. Timothy Pawl, Dr. Kenyani Davis, Dr. Kevin Ahern, and Sam Goodwin.


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