Why did you choose Union: Union was the first college I visited on my search, and I immediately felt like I belonged on this beautiful campus. I really liked the idea of the Minerva program and the trimester system. Union’s strong study abroad program also enticed me, as did the accessibility to Schenectady for students.
Hometown: Wilton, Conn.
Study Abroad: South Africa Mini-Term (winter break of my sophomore year) and Germany (spring term of my junior year) – Both were incredible experiences. The mini-term focused on South Africa’s public history, and how the country confronts its past through museums and monuments. The trip was also full of memorable highlights including hiking, a safari trip, and even shark cage diving. In Germany, I had an immersive experience learning German, something I’m continuing to do at Union, and the opportunity to study World War I and World War II, which is my main academic interest, plus form a close bond with the nine other Union students and the Union professor on the trip.
Favorite professor: Professor Joyce Madancy in the History Department is not only an excellent teacher, but also a great resource for support and advice inside and outside the classroom. I know she’s someone I’ll want to keep in touch with even after I graduate.
Favorite class: I took Chinese my whole first-year, which was not something I planned. I took it on a whim, and ended up loving the language. Although it was a challenge, our small class stuck together through three terms and formed a tight bond.
Favorite activities: Community Experience Pre-Orientation and the Next Step Social Justice Retreat are always two of my favorite times of the year. Doing Pre-Orientation as an incoming first-year made me feel at home at Union and in Schenectady quickly, allowed me to meet 49 other members of my class early, and connected me to several important organizations in the community. Some I still work with today. Next Step is a two-day retreat where a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff come together to have meaningful discussions about social equity and to create action plans to better bring about equity, respect, and justice on our campus and in our local communities. It’s not an exaggeration to say Next Step drastically changed my Union career and my life for the better. Next Step sparked a new organization on campus, the Union College Activist Network, which I’ve helped run, and has helped fuel my passion for social justice.
Favorite place on campus: Reamer, because it is the hub of student life and is the go-to place for anything you need on campus.
Favorite local restaurant: Zen
Favorite food on campus: A sandwich on whole-wheat bread with lettuce, onion, roasted red peppers, and avocado from O3 in Reamer.