Why did you choose Union?
I knew that I wanted a small liberal arts college with a community feel and opportunities to study abroad. I have this vivid memory of driving through the front gates to be greeted by the towering Nott, and a wave from Matt Malatesta and I was almost sold on the spot. Leaving Union, I was deeply invigorated, and my expectations of what a college could offer me were sky high. I found that I was comparing each school I visited after Union, to Union. I was looking to see if students were saying hi to each other on their tours, and I was paying close attention to the diverse academic experiences offered. I had a lot of interests and I didn’t want to have to sacrifice any of those. I was especially looking for learning opportunities outside of the classroom. I find it so beneficial to be surrounded by people who are deeply passionate about things that I know nothing about, and I felt Union could give that to me. After visiting multiple other colleges, I realized that one of the things that stuck out to me the most about Union was how proud people were to be a student here and, after making extensive pro-con lists, Union kept coming out on top. I compared faculty-student ratios and study abroad, housing, dining and location. I knew in my heart I wanted to be at Union anyway, but my pro-con lists were the proof I needed. I’ve kept those lists since the day I turned in my ED1 application as a reminder of why I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful community.
How do you describe Union to your friends and family?
I am sure my friends and family are tired of hearing me talk about everything Union has given me. I quite simply describe Union as “home.” I feel secure, inspired and comfortable here. I refer to Union as “home” even when I am at my house in New Hampshire. It will always be so much more than where I went to college, or where I was on the rowing team. It is the place where I found my passions, developed my writing skills, learned outside of the classroom every day and where I made a lot of mistakes. The relationships I develop here I know will carry me into my life. I describe Union as a community of people who challenge each other to bring out the best in each other, and as a place that creates students who are well-rounded, inquisitive and compassionate. I have had opportunities to participate in the social justice retreat and the Posse Plus Retreat and these were formative experiences for me. I’m impressed to see Union handling tough topics head-on. It is the encounters like these that remind me how much of an impact Union has had on me, and how it has taught me how to impact my friends, family and the world around me.
What has been your favorite class assignment at Union?
Publishing a piece of work that I am very proud of in Prof. Henseler’s class on calling for social change, and having the opportunity to intern in Albany with Senator Chuck Schumer in my “Capital Region Political Internships” course.
What is your favorite place off-campus in Schenectady?
My favorite place off campus is Schenectady’s Central Park, specifically the rose garden with a delicious meal from the Whistling Kettle.