Student Spotlight: Lucas Rivers '15

Publication Date

Hometown: Herkimer, N.Y.
Majors: Political Science and Chinese

Why Union:
I wanted a small community. Union is place where you never feel like an outsider. Add in the personal relationships with professors and the beautifully historic campus, and you have my home away from home.

Best class:
All of them!

Also excited about:
Studying abroad. I’ll be venturing off to Shanghai with nine other Union students and Professor Zhang in the fall, spending several weeks studying at Fudan University as well as traveling to historic and popular destinations around China. I’m excited to immerse myself in a culture unlike my own and become a contributing global citizen.

Favorite Study Spot:
A conference room in Lamont House with a white board, chalkboard, “mood” lights, a huge window and a full length table – perfect for my habit of scattering papers, books and notebooks whenever I do my work.

Inspiring moment:
The Better Together club sponsored Hijabi for a Day to bring awareness and spark dialogue regarding religious and cultural customs, specifically the hijab. I was so inspired by the number of participants who volunteered to not only wear the hijab throughout the day, but who were curious and eager to understand a tradition and expand their horizons.

Things I'm passionate about at Union:
Taking classes in Digital Art, I discovered a newfound academic passion. I also joined the Bhangra dance team this year, something I never imagined being a part of before coming to Union, and have discovered that an understanding of a different cultural expression is awesome. I indulge my passion to explore by getting involved with a club or organization each year that's devoted to something completely different than what I already know.

Other passions:
The fine arts and musical theater. I spent hours directing Union's first completely student-run musical, The Drowsy Chaperone.

The most surprising thing about Union:
How much this institution genuinely cares for its students. Regardless of which office door you knock on, you'll always be welcome.

How I'm making Union better:
I was an Ally Trainer for Union's Student Allies for Equality group – students dedicated to ensuring the LGBTQ community at Union feels comfortable, welcome and accepted. Being able to enhance the dialogue and discussions surrounding the LGBTQ community, in particular, has increased my peers’ awareness.

Looking into the future:
The great thing about Union's liberal arts education is that you leave here well-rounded. While I will attend graduate school of some sort (either a law degree or Ph.D.), I would love to spend a year or two involved in a fellowship or gap-year opportunity.