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Admissions Interviewers

Admissions Interviewers

Rachel McNeil '18

Rachel McNeil '18

Admissions Interviewer



Digital and Visual Media Literacy (Organizing Theme combining Computer Science, Film Studies and Digital Art)




Cortland, N.Y.

Why I chose Union: 

When it came down to decision day, Union had every pro I had been looking for from the beginning of my college search: academic variety and rigor with a focus in interdisciplinary studies (especially arts and sciences), compatible extracurricular interests (specifically dance and Division III tennis), strong financial aid and merit scholarships, a small student population, and excellent student/professor relationships. While at Union, I’ve been able to take full advantage of all of these assets, especially the academic diversity! Creating my own major in order to pursue a specific area of study has been both eye-opening and incredibly rewarding.

Study Abroad: 

London Theater Mini-Term. I have always been passionate about theater and dance, and the mini-term in London allowed me combine that with a love for travel. We went to ten shows in a short three weeks, including West End musicals and plays, as well as fringe productions and even a ballet, all in the beautiful setting of London. 


Downtown Ithaca Alliance. I interned with their event coordinator during the summer before my sophomore year in preparation for the opening of the new Ithaca Commons downtown area. 

Favorite professors: 

I have had the privilege of having so many extraordinary professors that it is difficult to pick favorites! Prof. Chilcoat (French, Film Studies) and Prof. de Seve (Film Studies) have been my advisers, professors, and mentors since I was a first-year. They guided me through the process of creating my major and gave me the confidence and tools to pursue my academic interests. I have enjoyed multiple classes with both of them, and they continue to blow me away with their experience, knowledge, and passion in their work, as well as their ability to engage and connect with students. I would not be where I am today without Union professors!

Favorite class: 

The Processed Pixel” with Prof. Orellana was the perfect collaboration of my academic interests, combining digital art and computer science. We used Processing, a programming language, to develop our programming knowledge in the context of visual art. The class was incredibly freeing, and I was able to produce a digital painting program using Bezier curves for my final project, which I used to digitally paint dozens of portraits.

Favorite activities: 

Sunday mass/dinner with Catholic Students Association and the Community Experience Pre-Orientation. In the Catholic Students Association, we are like a family, coming together every week to catch up and enjoy a meal together. With the Community Service Pre-Orientation, incoming first-years volunteer with over a dozen organizations in Schenectady for three days before regular orientation.  Participating as a first-year made me feel at home in Schenectady and at Union, and gave me countless opportunities to stay involved in our community ever since.

Favorite place on campus: 

The Nott! It is beautiful and photogenic, and a quiet place to study when there's not a keynote speaker or big event happening there. The Mandeville Gallery on the second floor is a great place to see incredible artwork when I’m looking for inspiration. The building ties the whole campus together with its history and central location, and after nearly four years it still takes my breath away. Walking by the Nott every day reminds me to appreciate and enjoy my time and unique path as a student here.

Favorite local restaurant: 

More Perecca’s, though this changes constantly for me as I continue to explore different restaurants.

Favorite food on campus: 

An O3 turkey wrap with local, organic ingredients and cran-mayo!