Meet Our Staff


Sam Murphy

Project Coordinator
Hometown: Cleveland, OH

Sam brings a diverse background to her role as a Grants Coordinator at Elevate. Her drive comes from her desire to understand the complexities of inequity to serve her community best. Sam spent time researching microfinance in Uganda through a study abroad program and later went back for independent, grant-funded research dealing with handicapped access to sanitation. She worked as a Research Assistant for the Ford Family Development Program at the University of Notre Dame, where she supported grant writing for the program’s maternal health initiatives in Kenya. Sam also interned in the Marketing & Development department at Cogswell Hall in Cleveland, a permanent, low-income housing solution for folks who would otherwise be homeless. In addition, Sam was a 2014 Teach For America Corps member in Colorado, where she taught 3rd grade Special Education. Before joining Elevate, she spent five years in various management roles at the Root Cafe in Cleveland, whose mission is to provide accessible, local, and organic food to its community members in addition to supporting community building through music, the arts, and conversation.

Sam received her BA in Political Science and Poverty Studies from the University of Notre Dame in 2013. As an undergraduate, she served as a Diversity Peer Educator with the school’s Psychology department. Sam has been a Registered Yoga Teacher since 2017 with a mission to teach accessible, body-positive yoga.

Sam spends the bulk of her free time outside with her husband and two babies. She loves learning about herbalism, gardening, and drinking sparkling water.

What is your hidden talent?

As a yoga teacher, I can create a yoga experience that is accessible to just about anyone!

What punctuation mark would you be and why?


All day.

I love life's joyful and exciting moments and I tend to be very optimistic. I think the exclamation point (ESPECIALLY when found in multiples) embodies these characteristics.

What is your grammatical pet peeve?

To vs Too vs Two

What is your favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

Enjoying a hike with my family, spending time with our dog, stretching, and making a delicious dinner. Unless there is live music to be seen or a party to go to, then I'd have to say one of those things.

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