As the director of the First-Year Experience, Aileen Schatz oversees the College’s orientation and pre-orientation programs, aiding new students and their families in their transition to Union and providing support and resources throughout their first three terms. Aileen joined Union in February 2021. She has a passion for working with students and helping them make the most out of their college experience.
Aileen grew up in Beacon, N.Y., and moved to the Capital Region in 2016. She lives in Guilderland with her husband, 15-month-old son and Old English sheepdog. She “bleeds Orange,” holding dual degrees from Syracuse University, and she believes Tully’s truly has the best chicken tenders on Earth. Aileen has been to more than 20 Major League Baseball stadiums. She loves exploring the stadiums’ host cities and regional foods while there for a game.
FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING:
I have a terrible habit of starting my day on Instagram, but the last app I look at each day is usually the Apple Activity App to see how far off I was from closing all three rings.
ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES:
"The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This was the book that got me back into reading for pleasure after grad school, and I’m amazed by how Taylor Jenkins Reid just creates so many different characters in one story.
BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED:
While I don’t necessarily think this was intended to be the best advice, my college professor used to always say, “the worst they can say is no” and “sometimes you have to ask for forgiveness instead of permission.” This helped me build my confidence and decision-making skills while in college.
FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS:
I typically eat my lunch with the staff in Student Activities in their office. I joke that their office is my “lunch lounge” and once made the comment that if I ever did a Catching Up With, I’d say my favorite spot on campus was my lunch lounge. So Reamer 404 it is!
Breakfast sandwich, typically chicken sausage, egg and cheese on an English muffin if I’m home, but an egg sandwich on a good bagel is always a nice treat.
I’m not really a podcast person, I’d rather listen to an audiobook. Autobiography audiobooks read by the author are one of my favorite things to listen to; they make me feel like I’m close friends with the author.
ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD:
A better sense of direction. I rely heavily on my phone for driving directions.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU:
I bake and decorate cakes. I’ve actually even done a few multi-tier wedding cakes.
THREE DINNER PARTY GUESTS (living or deceased):
Only two come to mind at the moment – Michelle Obama and Amy Poehler. I listened to their autobiographies on audiobook and it feels like we’re best friends, so a dinner party with my audiobook besties seems like a great excuse to hang out.
First concert ever: America. First concert by choice: Britney Spears at SPAC (I was most likely about 9 at both).