Meet co-valedictorians of the Class of 2022: Emma Houston, Christos Kakogiannis, Colin Pennock

Publication Date

Three members of the Class of 2022 earned the distinction of valedictorian. All three graduate with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Emma Houston

Emma Houston head shot

Hometown: Louisville, Colo.

Major: Psychology

Minor: Studio fine arts

Activities: Phi Beta Kappa; Writing Center; Peer Mentor (Accommodative Services); Psi Chi; Omicron Delta Kappa

Favorite class: It is so difficult to decide, but Psychology of Religion seminar with Professor Ken DeBono has been incredible this term. So has Advanced Painting with Professor Jenny Kemp. I have also loved all the English classes I have taken with Professor Andrew Burkett (Romantic Revolutions and Literature of the Manor House).

What I will miss most: The incredible friends that I have made these past years as well as the connections with my professors that the tight-knit community at Union has allowed me to make.

Advice for incoming students: It is a cliché, but the best way that you can make the most out of your experience at Union is to be yourself and do the things that are in line with what you are passionate about, regardless of what everyone else is doing. You will find your place and your people.

Life after Union: I will pursue my master's in mental health counseling at the Teacher's College at Columbia University

Christos Kakogiannis

Christos Kakogiannis head shot

Hometown: Thessaloniki, Greece

Major: Physics

Activities: RA in Richmond; tutor in the calculus and physics help centers; vice president of the French Club; advertising chair of the Society of Physics Students; Phi Beta Kappa; Sigma Xi

Favorite class: Music Composition Practicum with Professor Tim Olsen, and all upper level physics classes

What I will miss most: The close relationships with faculty. I like how Union, being a small community, makes it easy to get to know your professors and connect with other students on campus. Being in a small and supportive environment can inspire you to do great things!

Advice for incoming students: Try to find and maintain a good balance between schoolwork and personal life. Make friends and be open to try out different things. You might discover things that you never imagined.

Life after Union: I will pursue my Ph.D. in physics at Johns Hopkins University.

Colin Pennock

Colin Pennock head shot

Hometown: Whitefield, Maine

Major: Electrical engineering

Activities: Gaming4U; Scholars Program; Tau Beta Pi

Favorite class: Analysis and Design of Electronic Circuits, particularly the lab

What I will miss most: The Rathskeller. I already do...

Advice for incoming students: Major in engineering

Life after Union: I am headed to Alaska for the summer to do research and then to graduate school at some point, whether there or elsewhere.

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