Labor union recognizes student's commitment

Junior Emily Mandel is one of four recipients across the State University of New York system of the United University Professions Scholarship. The UUP is the union that represents academic and professional faculty on state-operated SUNY campuses. Along with this honor, Mandel received a $3,000 scholarship. According to the press release from UUP member Donald Feldstein, funding for this scholarship came from donations from active and retired members of the UUP.

Since the scholarship’s inception in 1988, the UUP awarded 82 scholarships.

Mandel, who applied in March and found out about receiving the scholarship in June of this year, had to go through an extensive application process. This included showcasing instances of service to the community, leadership, excellence in academics and commitment to union labor values. In addition to this, she needed four letters of recommendation, an essay submission, an interview by the entire board and committee, as well as a GPA above 3.75.

“My grandma’s dad organized a labor union in the ‘20s and ‘30s,” Mandel said, adding that her grandmother’s experience with labor unions was the topic for the personal story portion of her application essay.

Mandel and her family joined the other recipients from SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Binghamton and Farmingdale State College at a recognition ceremony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., attended by 700 people.

“I’m an education major, so I’m going to be a part of unions when I’m older. It was nice to see how important unions are to our teachers,” she said. “I learned a lot about the UUP and what it does for people in state schools, which was pretty cool too.

“I’m very grateful for this,” Mandel said. “It’s a great scholarship, and I’m very happy and honored to be representing Geneseo because we haven’t won in a few years.”