Conor Willsie balances a demanding course load with a varsity sport and life in his Minerva House, where he enjoys taking part in academic and social activities with friends and faculty – everything from indoor rock climbing to food festivals to engineering talks.
Union’s innovative Minerva House program features seven on-campus houses – Beuth, Breazzano, Golub, Green, Messa, Sorum and Wold. The houses host more than 500 events each year, created and run by student leaders. Every student is assigned to a Minerva for all four years but can attend events in all the houses, and every faculty member belongs to a house, too.
Conor has been active in Beuth House from the start. As a first-year, he rolled out Beuth Bakes, a finals week mixer that drew more than 50 students. He also organized a dinner and discussion in conjunction with Golub House and the student engineering club.
“Professor Chandra Pappu invited an expert from the U.S. Naval Research Lab to discuss the application of non-linear dynamics. It was a fascinating event.”
One of his favorite Minerva events is the annual Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department dinner in the Beuth Great Room, attended by all department faculty.
“I love getting to know my professors on a more personal level at these events,” Conor says. “Some even bring their kids.”
While all students can take part in Minervas, some also live in them. Conor moved into Beuth House his sophomore year.
“The Minervas are great spaces to live, hang out and study in,” he says. “There’s always something going on. I have made some of my best friends at Beuth. Being involved also opened up opportunities to interact with faculty and with students outside of my classes and my team.”