You have probably seen Emily Rocha in costume or doing something silly for the Student Activities Instagram or Tiktok.
Born and raised in Clifton Park, N.Y., she came to Union in May as the director of Student Activities. She most recently worked at Siena College, and she has a bachelor’s degree from Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. and a master’s degree from Northeastern University. She welcomes anyone to stop by the Student Activities office to pick up some candy and hear more about why penguins are her favorite animal.
FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING:
I try hard not to look at apps until I get to work, but I do Wordle and Worldle (it's a geography-based version that shows you outlines of countries that you have to guess) every morning to get my brain going, and then usually pull up Spotify in the car for the drive to work. I love most types of music, but I'm usually drawn to alt-rock or indie-pop for the morning commute. It's the perfect balance of energizing and mellow.
ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES:
I don't read books more than once. The appeal of a book is not knowing the outcome when you start reading. I know that you can pick up on nuances you initially missed in a second read, but the fun of the suspense is lost for me after the first pass. I've had commitment issues with starting and not finishing books lately, but I'm working on it.
BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED:
As a child, my mom used to tell me not to worry about what other people were doing and focus on myself instead. I used to compare my success or my progress through life against other people and it always made me feel worse about myself. By turning inward and spending more time thinking about how I could improve or what I could change to make myself better (and then doing it), I've let a lot of insecurities go.
FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS:
I'm discovering new places every day, but nothing beats the pulse of Reamer during common lunch. There's so much going on that I get all the energy I need to push through the afternoon from the conversations I have or the people I see then.
I'm never consistent with my breakfast choices, but I lean towards toast with peanut butter, banana, honey and cinnamon. Breakfast food is my jam, though; I haven't met a breakfast food I don't like.
Not a huge podcast listener, but I was featured on one this summer – “Women Who Travel” by Conde Nast Traveler. You can listen to me talk about my hike in the Swiss Alps wherever you get your podcasts.
ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD:
I wish I was more athletic. I am too clumsy to be skilled at any sport. Anyone who knows me well knows I will just fall down.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU:
Not about me, but related. My grandfather lived next to the American illustrator Norman Rockwell in Stockbridge, Mass. One day, he asked my grandfather to pose in uniform for an idea he had for a Saturday Evening Post cover. “The Runaway” is now one of the most recognizable covers that Rockwell ever painted, and my grandfather is the model he used for the police officer in the illustration.
THREE DINNER PARTY GUESTS (living or deceased):
I adore Ruth Bader Ginsberg; she led an incredible life and getting a chance to meet and talk to her would be fascinating. Phil Rosenthal, who produces and hosts the show “Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix, because we both love eating and traveling. He would be fun to explore a new place with. The third is probably a tie between Rupi Kaur or Amanda Gorman. I'm terrible at writing poetry but both are able to express their views on the world in such a creative and powerful way. Spending time with either of them would be inspiring.
My mom was brave enough to take me and a friend to the Backstreet Boys when I was in third grade. That same year I also saw Norah Jones. My taste in music is pretty wide-ranging, even from a young age!