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Student Spotlight: Maura Driscoll '15


Maura (second from front) and friends half way to the top of England's York Minster.
Maura (second from front) and friends half way to the top of England's York Minster.

Hometown: Manchester by-the-Sea, Mass.  
Major: Psychology
Minor: Spanish

Read Maura's blog

Why Union: 
A friend from home who was at Union pressured me to apply, and I got in. My parents drove me to Schenectady the final hour before the deposit deadline, when the last thing I wanted to do was go on yet another college visit. I’d barely set foot on campus, in the pouring rain, when I knew. Looking up at the Nott Memorial, I felt completely at home – I finally got that feeling everyone talks about when picking a campus. Thank God for that pushy friend and my parents!  

Most inspiring class: 
Domestic Violence, a sociology course with Professor Linda Relyea. This course opened my eyes to the common misconceptions and stereotypes perpetuated by the media and society. 

My term abroad:
I studied in York, England, where I took a political science course on British politics with our own Professor Zoe Oxley, who led the term. While abroad, I was also fortunate enough to take film courses - History of Film and Television, and Screening the Modern Immigrant. The course possibilities in York are similar to those on campus, as the liberal arts foundation at York St. John University encouraged me to delve into a field of study that interested me, just like Union. York offered other incredible experiences. We took the two-mile walk on the city walls and saw breathtaking views. The wall was originally built to protect a castle. We also had the amazing opportunity to see the York Minster, an incredible sight. One weekend, we took a day trip Whitby, a seaside town in which there is a beautiful abbey upon which Bram Stroker based Dracula. There are many other historical aspects to the city, such as Captain Cook exhibits and the Whitby museum and art gallery. Another weekend, our whole Union group headed to England's Lake District for a hike. This district is the former home of William Wordsworth and where he wrote some of the greatest poetry in the English language. 

Favorite study spot:
The study tables on the second floor of the library facing the Nott. I like to sit right next to the window so that I get a great view when taking a break. 

Activities:
Collegiate Alumni Relations Chair of Delta Delta Delta, Fraternity and Sorority Conduct Board, student blogger for the College, Student Conduct Committee

Other passions:
The arts, particularly theater. I was president of my high school’s theater program and adore taking theater classes here. I also love to attend the campus musicals, plays and a cappella concerts. One of my favorite events is the annual Thruway a cappella concert at Proctors theater. It’s a great event and all the proceeds go to a good cause, the Land Trust of Schenectady.

Most surprising thing about Union:
The amazing sense of school spirit and pride. No matter what the activity, sporting event or performance, there’s always an outpouring of support for the participants and immense love for the kind of campus community we have created. Our community's pride was put on full display when our men's hockey team took home the national championship; I never dreamed that I would be part of such an electric experience on a college campus.  

How I’m making Union a better place:
My work with the Conduct Board is helping to make Greek Life more productive as we strive to create a more positive atmosphere and improve the system. Additionally, we aim to strengthen Greek relationships with other organizations on campus, as well as with the administration. 

Looking into the future:
Post-graduation, I hope to attend law school to continue cultivating my passion for advocacy work. This summer, I have been interning with my District Attorney's Office, working specifically with the Essex County Child Abuse Project. All accusations of physical or sexual child abuse come through the office. I work directly with the children affected and with my team of an assistant district attorney, forensic psychologist, police officer and doctor to determine the best course of action for the child.

Advice for incoming students:
Don’t be afraid to get involved and try new things. You never know what you might end up loving.