Sophia Anderson ‘22 is the student speaker at Commencement. She auditioned for the honor and was chosen by a student committee.
Hometown: Mystic, Conn.
Major: Political science
Minors: Environmental science and psychology
Activities: Student trustee; Sustainability Committee; Lab ASTRA student researcher with Professor Conor O'Dea; tour guide; Delta Phi Epsilon member-at-large; RA at College Park Hall; treasurer of Planned Parenthood Generation Action
Favorite class: There are so many to choose from, but Global Environmental Politics with Professor Sara Wiest was most impactful in determining the kind of work I want to do after college. I loved the material and the discussions we would have in class. This class also taught me about environmental challenges in a new context. We explored many different case studies from various parts of the world as well as discussed challenges in creating a global governing body. The projects were also very engaging and personalized, which allowed me to look at my own actions, as well. The class also allowed me to think critically and constructively, and demonstrated quite clearly where we are failing in our environmental action.
What I will miss most: All the people who have made Union a home for me these past four years. I will miss walking around campus and getting so easily distracted by everyone I see and engage with. I will miss the late night talks I have had with my housemates and the crazy adventures I have had with my friends. I will also miss all the professors and faculty members who have served as mentors to me, particularly Professor Wiest, visiting assistant professor of political science, and Professor Cigdem Cidam, associate professor of political science.
Advice for incoming students: Time moves quickly. Embrace the moments of opportunity to do something different from your typical routine. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that work is important, but sometimes hanging out with your friends is more so. Chase every opportunity that comes up; you will remember those moments and adventures more than you will remember the late nights doing work.
Life after Union: I have accepted a fellowship with the Green Corps. Over the next year, I will move around the U.S every few months and work on different environmental campaigns in each new city. Following that, I plan to return to school to get my MBA or attend graduate school for public policy in hopes of one day working in nonprofit governance and leadership.