Catching up with...Janet Sweeney

Publication Date
Janet Sweeney with her husband, Jim, and the couple's children, Robert and Karen.

Janet Sweeney with her husband, Jim, and the couple's children, Robert and Karen.

Janet Sweeney freely admits that she eats “a ridiculous amount of pretzels!” She’ll also admit, rather quietly because it sometimes raises eyebrows, that she’s not a dog person.

The College’s director of Community Outreach, Janet joined Union 14 years ago. The best part of her job is getting to know the amazing students who volunteer in the community and who help with events and programs on campus. Janet also enjoys learning about Schenectady and all the great work being done here.

She has lived in Clifton Park for almost 30 years, but grew up in New Jersey. When not at work, you can find her riding her bike, hanging out with family or reading. Lately, she’s taken up cross-country skiing and pickleball. She’s spent part of every summer of her life at the Jersey Shore, mostly on Long Beach Island. She and her husband, Jim, met in college at Duke University and have been married for almost 35 years. They have two grown children who are both getting married this year.

FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING:

Every morning I read the New York Times headlines and try to find the pangram in the Spelling Bee game. I also am on a 120+ day streak learning Italian on Duolingo.

ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES:

"Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" by Greg McKeown. My colleague, Erynne, introduced me to this book and it is super helpful for work and for life in general!

BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED:

My grandmother lived to be 105. She overcame so much in her life, and although she didn’t go to school and never learned to read and write, she was probably the smartest and most industrious person I’ve ever known. She often told me, “If you see a chance, take it.”

Catching up with...

"Catching Up With..." is a new feature that launched in fall 2020 in The Chronicle. Each week a faculty or staff member is profiled. Answering a series of short questions, the profiles are intended to be light, informative and conversational.

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FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS:

Coasting through the Seward parking lot on my bike on the way back to Kenney Center. Also, I love Jackson’s Garden.

GO-TO BREAKFAST:

Mango smoothie or a bagel.

NETFLIX OR AMAZON:

Netflix. Some of my favorites are “The Derry Girls,” “Jane the Virgin” and “Schitt’s Creek.” I also recently re-watched all of “Seinfeld.”

FAVORITE PODCAST:

“Everything Is Alive.” Ridiculous, but fun! It’s an interview show where the subjects are inanimate objects.

ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD:

I would like to have carpentry skills. I love to make things but I don’t always know what I’m doing and I definitely don’t have all the right tools. My next project is a cornhole set for my daughter and her fiancé.

BEST PART OF YOUR DAY:

I love sitting on my couch with a blanket after dinner reading a good book (and eating pretzels). One of my recent favorites is "Transcendent Kingdom", a novel by Yaa Gyasi.

LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU:

I have never had, nor do I want to have, a pet. Shhh, don’t tell anyone! People judge me when they find out I’m not a dog lover.