Admissions Office
Sam Epstein

Samantha Epstein '21

Job Title
Admissions Interviewer

Why did you choose Union?
Union was the first college I had ever heard of because my dad had gone there. Every time he would go up to Schenectady, he would come home with Union gear for my sister and me. Fast-forward to 2013, my sister decided she would spend her next four years at the same place. I got to hear her entire Union experience firsthand. In spring of my junior year, she gave me my first, unofficial tour of Union. Something about the tour just clicked; sure, it may have been because my sister was giving it to me, but something about Union already felt like home. With the wide variety of classes, and a late deadline for declaring your major, I loved the flexibility I was given as someone who simply did not know what she wanted to do. Union offered small class sizes, tight-knit relationships with peers and professors; it seemed like I could really have it all. I also knew I wanted to break out of my shell in college and get involved, but I had no idea how and in what. With Union, though, I realized I wasn’t going to be tied down to one thing, and I could take as long as I wanted to discover my passions. After I came to that conclusion, I put down my deposit, and have never looked back since.

How do you describe Union to your friends and family?
Union, in my eyes, is a school where anyone can fit in. Regardless of who you are, there’s something at Union for you. From the variety of clubs, to the idea that you can create your own major, Union offers a diverse set of programs and activities in which anyone can find his/her/their niche. Additionally, Union is a diverse campus with many people of different races, religions, and backgrounds, making the school so inclusive of everyone and anyone. Of course, we can always do more, but the fact that I have friends from all over the world, from different racial and religious backgrounds than me is something I really cherish. Union is defined by me as the actual definition of a union: an act or instance of uniting or joining two or more things into one. I see different people joining together for a common cause, whether it be a club they join, or a class they take. I see people helping others because they simply want to; there is no motive, besides the genuine care they have for others.

What has been your favorite class assignment at Union?
My favorite class at Union has definitely been “History and Treasures of Union” with Professor Denis Brennan. The assignments really sparked my interest in Union history, and have led me to do a lot of research of my own about the school and its evolution. It’s also the reason I bought the “Union College Encyclopedia,” and that is hands down the best purchase I have ever made.

What is your favorite place off-campus in Schenectady?
My favorite place has to be Square One Cafe (formerly Happy Cappuccino). I love heading there at any point during the term, and cranking out whatever work I have, while sipping on a delicious latte. It’s also a great place to people-watch; you really get an understanding of Schenectady and its residents.