Why did you choose Union?
When searching for colleges, I had a checklist: I wanted engineering, DIII athletics, small to mid size, vibrant campus life, and a strong community. I toured no less than a dozen schools trying to find my perfect fit. Originally, I thought that I wanted a technological school. I toured Union during my sophomore year on a spring day in April to appease my mom who went to (and loved) a liberal arts school herself. I remember thinking that a liberal arts school with engineering couldn’t give me the full experience that I was looking for, and that I needed a STEM school. I could not have been more wrong. My Union tour guide told me about her experiences in engineering, and how Union offered the well-roundedness of liberal arts and STEM to produce versatile graduates.
I visited Union two more times before making the decision to apply early decision. I learned more about the trimester system. As someone who wanted to be a student athlete in engineering, I was drawn to the smaller course load, flexible schedule, and more free time. The buzz of people in Reamer during common lunch and the energy of campus quickly moved Union to the top of my list.
How do you describe Union to your friends and family?
Union is exactly what you make of it. Upon coming to Union and meeting with my advisor, I was given a large excel sheet with my twelve terms and all the courses I needed to take for my major. We worked together to come up with a plan to make sure that I could accomplish everything I wanted to. He asked if I intended on studying abroad, or if I wanted to be pre-med or pre-law, or if I potentially wanted to pick up a minor. I tell people that my experience with Union faculty is not unique to me, and that Union gives every student the flexibility and opportunity to create a custom schedule that is tailored to their interests. I emphasize how over 75% of students major or minor in more than one thing, and how interdepartmental work is a huge part of what we do. If there is something that you have your heart set on in college, Union will help make it a reality.
The culture of the Union community allows you to reach out to professors to ask for spots in their research labs, or email hospitality to ask them if they can start carrying mozzarella in The Market (which they did after request!), or network with alumni to hear about their Union experience and career path. Union has endless opportunities to create your own path, whatever that might be.
What has been your favorite class assignment at Union?
On a day off from class, my biomedical engineering professor, Jennifer Currey, assigned us to practice Hygge – the feeling of coziness and comfort. She explained that because we always have so much going on in our lives, she wanted us to take some time for ourselves and do something that we really enjoyed and write a small reflection on it.
What is your favorite place off-campus in Schenectady?
My favorite place off campus is Ambition Café on Jay Street. I love when you sit down and accidentally get the whoopie cushion chair! You get to enjoy delicious breakfast sandwiches, and listen to live music, plus you always run into someone else you know there.