Why did you choose Union?
I was looking for an interdisciplinary academic atmosphere with opportunities for students to pursue independent ventures. I was adamant about pursuing both Biochemistry and History during my college career, and many colleges in different countries were restrictive. At Union, I saw the opportunity to fulfill my passion without any compromises.
I conducted a few independent projects during my high school years involving research and realized my interest in continuing that work. I wanted a college that would allow me to freely pursue any question that piques my interest, while allowing me to hone my skills. Union was particularly promising in this aspect. I read a lot about how students could get involved in research independently and with faculty. I was impressed by the variety of disciplines and the emphasis on interdepartmental work.
I came from a high school where my entire class year had around 35 students. My class sizes ranged from 1 student (me) to 15 students. Such small class sizes allowed me to build strong connections with my teachers, and I realized how important direct contact with professors could be. remember reaching out to one of the Biochemistry professors after applying to Union and how passionate their response had been. It showed me that professors at Union care about students and are generous with their time. I knew such an environment would allow me to succeed.
I knew that Union would be an excellent environment for me to adapt comfortably but also challenge me often so that I never stunt my growth.
How do you describe Union to your friends and family?
I describe Union as my second home. It’s where I have learned how to be an adult and learned the skills of time management, communication, and independence. It is also where I have made great connections with those around me – friendships that I know will last for life, faculty who genuinely care about their students, and staff members who offer advice at every step. Union has also been a remarkable space to explore my different passions while exposing me to real-world problems in a safe environment that is open to discussion.
What has been your favorite class assignment at Union?
My favorite activity in class was when I had to take on the persona of a Mayan individual during the Guatemalan Agrarian Reforms and comment on the successes and failures in a letter to future revolutionaries. I remember being completely absorbed in the role and challenged while attempting this assignment.
What is your favorite thing to do in Schenectady?
My favorite activity in Schenectady is visiting the Stockade, particularly the Moon & River café and Arthur’s, where I usually do my homework. I love the serene atmosphere and the historic architecture.