Student Spotlight: Trevor Martin '14

Publication Date

Hometown: Catskill, N.Y.
Major: Philosophy, Spanish and Hispanic Studies
Minor: Japanese

Why Union:
The students seemed the most enthusiastic and excited of all the schools I'd visited. While I was on the campus tour, I was approached by a group of first-year students in the dining hall. After several minutes of animated conversation, they eventually made me promise to attend in the fall. That was the best promise I ever made.

Most inspiring class:
Introduction to Ethics with Professor Mark Wunderlich. When I came to Union I had no idea what ethics was. This class not only gave me an acute awareness of ethical issues, it also spurred my interest in philosophy. As a direct result, I joined the Union Ethics Bowl Team and also embarked on my life-long journey in search of philosophical truth. My classes have been nothing less than inspirational, but my true love for philosophy comes from other, less formal interactions, such as one-on-one conversations with my professors, dinner and discussions with visiting speakers or fierce debate with my classmates.

Also excited about:
My senior thesis for Philosophy will be explore the tragedy of punishment. Even when punishment is deserved and deemed appropriate, there is something regrettable about it, especially in severe cases. Currently I am working with Professor Zaibert who is both a lawyer and an expert in the philosophy of law and punishment. By working with one of the foremost authorities in the field, I will certainly have a leg up on others entering law school and I will also be able to come in with an impressive and relevant piece of research work.

Favorite study spot:
The Lamont House porch. There is nothing better than sitting in the Adirondack chairs in the shade with an engaging book.

Inspiring moment:
Learning about how Union alumni are making great advances and finding untold success in their fields. I love knowing that their Union College education helped them do so and also that if I try hard, I have the same tools for success.

Things I'm passionate about:

  • Karate. Union has an active club that meets twice a week. I love it so much that I’ve rarely missed a practice. After one year I became president and after two, I earned my brown belt.
  • Language studies and cultural events. If understanding is the bridge that links cultures, then they are the keys to the gate. This world is becoming more and more connected, and I don’t plan on getting left out of anything.
  • Photography. I have always been a talkative guy, and you know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Plus, it’s hard to resist taking images on such an idyllic campus.
  • Philosophy. I have always ardently strived to uncover the answers to life’s hardest questions. I have learned you will never find out if you don’t ask. Philosophy is about the asking.

Other passions:
Cooking, reading, swimming, driving, biking, gaming and chess.

Most surprising thing about Union:
All of the professors that I have had the pleasure to meet are consistently available, stunningly knowledgeable, deeply compassionate, shockingly relatable and ardently passionate about their fields. I even have the privilege of calling several of them my friends.

How I'm making Union a better place:
I stay actively involved with campus and community activities. This includes being a photo editor for the student newspaper, Concordiensis, and an editor of Union's Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy, Ephemeris, and my volunteer work with Kenney Community Center. I also like to think that I make Union a better place through my exuberant school spirit and good cheer.

Looking into the future:
One thing that I've learned for sure is that we can never know what life brings us but I plan on going to law school followed by a career in pursuit of justice

Advice for incoming students:
Get involved, don’t hold back and excelsior!