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Student Spotlight: Sebastien Gingras '16



Hometown: Montréal, Quebec, Canada 
Major
: Neuroscience

Why Union:
Fantastic hockey program, great academics, but most importantly a unique environment. The atmosphere at Union is unlike any other undergraduate institutions I visited. I think that what makes Union so unique is the quality of the people involved in creating the college experience. Everyone takes pride in building an environment that promotes individuality and growth, and every interaction brings a new way of seeing yourself and the world. Simply stated, what defines Union is the people.

Most inspiring class:
My first year Preceptorial class on “Psychoanalysis and Romantic writing.”  You may find this an odd choice considering my scientific inclinations, but the class forced me to be introspective and challenge some of my deepest beliefs, an important but often overlooked aspect of college.

Also excited about:
All the opportunities that Union offers, from clubs and intramural sports to internships, fellowships and terms abroad. There are a variety of options to try new things, get out of your comfort zone or simply do something you've always wanted to do.

Activities:
Div. 1 Men’s Hockey, Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), Softball Intramurals, Resident Advisor

Greatest Union moment
Most definitely our victory over Minnesota in the Frozen Four finals, which allowed Union to win its first Div. 1 National Championship. But also, the drafting of Kristen Shinebarger to our hockey team as part of the team IMPACT program. Kristen, the young daughter of a Union employee, lost her leg in a battle against cancer. Too often we get caught up in the pressures of life, but Kristen was there to remind me to live as opposed to go through life.

More on winning the National Championship: 
The personal gratification of winning a National Championship after investing countless hours and much effort is evident. It is a dream come true and a reward for each individual's hard work and dedication. However, it is has deeper and broader implications. It is a testament to what can be achieved by a group of smart, well-rounded and determined individuals who are fighting for a common cause. Margaret Mead once said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Union as a whole is such a group, and its impact on the world is only beginning.

How I'm making Union a better place
By never missing an opportunity to get to know someone.

Looking into the future:
A professional career in hockey would be nice, but studying medicine is definitely in my plans. 

Advice for incoming students: 
Don't be afraid to be yourself. Some people may not see how beautiful you are, but in the end the right people will, and that is what will matter most.