Dean of Students

U Journey

***Apply by January 21st to be a U Journey Ambassador!

The Dean of Students Office is now accepting marketing internship applications for U Journey Ambassadors. ( Application and position description ) Applications are due January 21, 2024 by 11:59PM. Interviews will take place in January after winter break.

"U Journey helps students understand their responsibilities within a community and how to better foster meaningful relationships with others."

– Ryan Keytack , Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs

A log that says "U Journey"

Developing students to lead with wisdom, empathy, and courage:

U Journey is Union College's comprehensive plan for life and learning that occurs beyond the classroom, with particular emphasis on life skills and reflection. The goal is to align a seamless set of experiences for students from the moment they move-in until they graduate. It’s a framework for Union life and learning outside the classroom, with particular emphasis on life skills and belonging.

Whether in our residences, through clubs and teams, in our sororities and fraternities, or in our Minerva Houses, we encourage students to focus on:

Well-being, by taking care of themselves physically and mentally
Decision making, by managing their surroundings and thinking before acting
Collaboration, by interacting with others and engaging difference
Belonging, by finding role(s) in our community and developing a connection to Union and Schenectady

Your U Journey has begun. The program started in fall 2022 and will continue to expand its reach to all students in the coming years.

Students embark on the newspaper challenge

First-Year Experience Goals
(In partnership with the FYE Office):

  1. Support transitions
  2. Facilitate connections
  3. Foster a sense of belonging
  4. Encourage social responsibility through education
Students enjoying various aspects of campus life

SOPHOMORE-Year Experience Goals:

  1. Encourage academic exploration
  2. Encourage career exploration
  3. Explore healthy relationships (sense of self and others)
  4. Provide leadership development activities


  1. Support independence
  2. Promote civic responsibility
  3. Develop global perspectives
  4. Inspire a personal vision


  1. Support next transitions
  2. Facilitate connections
  3. Foster a sense of belonging to Union
  4. Foster a sense of belonging in Schenectady

Meeting students where they're at on their U Journey:

  • Campus Activties

    U Journey explores our core student development themes to provide consistent and intentional educational experiences beyond the classroom for first-year students and sophomores. Here's just a sample of activities that teach life skills and create a sense of belonging:

    • We explored the 8 Dimensions of Wellness at the following:
      • Sustainability Fair [environmental wellness]
      • Finance Fridays [financial wellness]
      • Career Fair [occupational wellness]
      • Emotional Intelligence Workshop [emotional wellness]
      • Silent Disco [physical wellness]
      • Registration Information Sessions [intellectual wellness]
      • Spiritual Life Night [spiritual wellness]
      • Consent & Relationships Fair [social wellness]
      • Annual Wellness Fair @ West Beach
    • We had Intentional Conversations at Club Expo, Career Cafe with Alumni, Identity Dialogues, Calvin Toll Day of Service, Minerva Night Out to see Company at Proctors, and our End of Term Extravaganza.
  • Residential Education

    Residential staff, including Community Advisors (CAs) will facilitate on-going floor meetings, discussions and activities related to our learning goals. Our professional Community Directors (CDs) will provide CAs training, support and guidance. CDs will also host monthly passion programs to connect with their residents.

    CDs and CAs will also hold special end-of-term activities that provide an opportunity to celebrate and reflect. The staff will host study breaks and pop-ups throughout the reading days and exam period. These grab-and-go style events will also feature stress management activities.

  • Upperclass Workshops

    Complementing the intentional work with our first-years and sophomores will be a series of activities, workshops and meet-ups for juniors and seniors. These activities will focus on life skills such as financial literacy, networking and cultural immersion. These workshops are currently in development and kick-off in the Fall of 2024.

  • Incentives for Participation


    Students are encouraged to participate as much as possible. The U Journey Ambassadors award badges for ongoing participation in major events.

    An image that says UJOURNEY Battery Badge
    An image that says UJOURNEY Bolt Badge
    An image that says UJOURNEY Bulb Badge
     An image that says UJOURNEY Electric City Badge
Union students with a cardboard train
Students inside the Nott Memorial

Meet the U Journey Ambassadors

It takes a village to pull off the U Journey. We have student U Journey Ambassadors that serve as the voice of the program and market our initiatives. They plan pop-up events, manage our social media, and serve as hosts at various campus activities. Here's our U Journey line-up for 2023:

Dani B.

Dani B., Dani is a sophomore Economics major from Chicago, IL. Some of her passions include cooking, bowling, and spoken word poetry. At Union, she is involved heavily in admissions work, the secretary of the Black Student Union, and does her work study in the Dean of Studies office.

Talha K.

Talha K., Talha is a sophomore Economics and Computer Science double major from Islamabad, Pakistan. Some of his hobbies include playing soccer, chess, and is known to be really good at mental math. He volunteered to be an orientation leader this year and he enjoys a super chill but super precise team.

Blake T.

Blake T., Blake is a senior Economics and Political Science double major from Toronto, Canada. Some of his hobbies include hockey and speed reading. He loves to laugh with his team and is involved with Greek Life on campus.