Why did you choose Union?
As the daughter of two Union alums, I was lucky that my parents were supportive of anywhere I wanted to go. When I first started looking at colleges, I wanted to go anywhere but Union. But reflecting on my search, I was really looking for Union all along. I wanted a small school where professors would recognize me from their classes, and a campus with an involved student body and a vibrant social life.
During an overnight visit with the track team, it seemed like every single person I met was so welcoming and friendly towards me. Even the students that sat near us in class were excited to chat with me and tell me about all of the things in which they were involved. One of the biology professors talked to me at length about the bio department here and took such a genuine interest in my academics that I felt right at home. With about a week left before the May 1 deadline, I decided to follow my gut and choose Union. I am grateful every day that I decided to take a chance on the school that I swore I wouldn’t consider. It has felt like home here from the very first minute I stepped on campus as a first-year student.
How do you describe Union to friends and family?
My favorite way to describe Union to my friends and family is as a place that will challenge you to become a better version of yourself. That can mean getting more involved on campus, achieving academic goals, branching out to the people that you meet in your classes, and more. As President Harris says, “becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable” is the Union College Challenge, pushing all of us to try new things. In an environment as collaborative and welcoming as the one here on campus, it is very easy to be comfortable being uncomfortable. You do not have to look too hard to find someone here to be inspired by. I tell my friends and family that the community at Union is one where people achieve great things and are excited to help the next person to do the same.
I also like to talk about how many opportunities we have. Many students here major in more than one thing, or have a minor in a subject that is wildly different from their major. It is not uncommon that I hear someone talk about their interdepartmental Sociology and Biology major, or their Dance and Spanish minors on top of their Geosciences major. The trimester system allows time for students to pursue their passions academically in a variety of pursuits, and combine them in new ways. It also means that there is time outside of class to be involved in a huge range of extracurricular activities, from athletics to volunteer work in the community to clubs and more. Union students are passionate about whatever it is that they may be involved in, and it is so fun to try something new in this environment.
What has been your favorite class assignment at Union?
My favorite class assignment at Union was the final project in Professor Raucci’s Classics course, “Women in Ancient Rome.” We were given an inscription from an artifact with very basic information, such as a woman’s name, age and occupation. I had to recreate her whole life story based off of this information and use other resources to infer many aspects of her life. The final result was really cool.
What is your favorite thing to do in Schenectady?
My favorite off-campus activity is walking down to the Greenmarket on Sunday mornings with a group of friends. I love the community that shows up every week and it is so much fun to try all the different foods!