Why did you choose Union?
When I was applying to various colleges/universities, I was looking at their electrical engineering programs along with what they offered for a core curriculum, innovative labs, campus diversity, and so on. When I researched Union, I learned that many students have performed research since first year. Through exploration of the Union website and their presentation at my school, I also learned more about the expansive student diversity on campus, and a plethora of innovative labs including 3D printing and laser cutting. I learned about the various fascinating work-study programs Union offers and a lot more that captured my interest in the college. Union, as the name suggests, really united two extremely different programs in a very strong and unique way. Even if I want to major in electrical engineering, I can still take various economics courses to learn about startups, English courses to enhance my writing skills, and dance classes in order to learn various types of dance styles and gain some new experience. This place does a great job at involving students in experiential learning by offering an abundance of study abroad programs, work-study jobs, Minerva fellowship grants, dinner and discussion events with faculty members, and every other opportunity given by the college to learn more than we would in a classroom environment alone.
How do you describe Union to your friends and family?
I’ve always called Union my second home whenever I talk about it with anyone. I describe it as a place that symbolizes closely-connected friends from diverse countries who carry intriguing and distinguishable cultures with themselves. It has been a pleasure to pursue studies at a place that has an interblend of various cultures along with great professors who aim to build a personal bond with their students. For instance, in my sophomore year, I was taking a Mathematics class on differential equations and, over the term, our professor made us participate in a lot of fun activities and took pictures. End of the term, she compiled it all in a video and gave an individual thank you note to each student. That was one of the sweetest things I experienced at Union College. The faculty at Union do their best when it comes to caring and supporting their students. Having both liberal arts and STEM at Union has helped me choose a variety of courses I’m interested in and that has gifted me with innovative and creative skills. For instance, I got to use the laser-cutting lab for a poetry assignment, and I would never have thought we would get to use such fascinating tools in a poetry class. During that time, I learned how to 3D-print objects and how to use a laser cutter, which are really significant skills to have. Along with a multitude of courses to choose from, Union has tremendous research opportunities for students all over campus, which helps us grow intellectually and makes us explore our vast areas of interests. It has and will always be a privilege to be a Union College student, having so many opportunities to take advantage of that have made me grow personally and intellectually in every way I can think of.
What has been your favorite class assignment at Union?
When I was taking the class on higher order differential equations, Prof. Jue Wang made us model a differential equation for the rate of falling M&Ms. It was an exceptional and fun activity, and whoever got it right was given a bowl full of M&Ms.
What is your favorite place off-campus in Schenectady?
Oliver’s Café in Schenectady is one of my favorite places. All members of the family cook breakfast food and serve tea/coffee repeatedly if your cup keeps emptying. It gives me a very home-like vibe, and also instills a sense of close-knit community.