Zachary Sessa

 Zachary Sessa
: Social Work & Spanish double major with a minor in Political Science
Austin, TX
Residence Hall: Off-Campus, but I lived in Villa Maria Hall for my first two years.

Why did you decide to enroll at UP?
I enrolled at UP because it gave me the best of both worlds in multiple ways. I can do as many outdoor activities as my heart desires as well as take advantage of the beautiful nature the PNW offers. We are located in what I like to call a "college-neighborhood" (as opposed to a college town) with a tight-knit community centered around UP. However, we are also located in a big city with access to all of its unique neighborhoods, fun activities, professional sports, and internship and job opportunities. We are also only 1.5 hours away from the coast and 1.5 hours away from Mt. Hood, and also have access to Forest Park, the biggest urban forest in the country.

Best memory from living in the residence halls?
My first-year couch hurdle relay race. I was one of the people to compete for 2BC, my wing in Villa, and it seemed like the whole quad, which includes Corrado and Mehling, was out watching the race. It was so much fun and a great way to start college.

Favorite UP activity?
My walks across campus. Whether I'm going to class, attending a meeting, grabbing a bite to eat, or heading to the gym, I always see a friendly face to say hi to. It never fails to brighten my day and bring a smile to my face.

Favorite UP event?
I love the speakers the Diversity & Inclusion Program (DIP) brings to campus. The past two years for Latinx Heritage Month I have attended amazing presentations from Eduardo Chavez, Cesar Chavez's grandson, and Walter Thompson-Hernandez, a UP alumni and former New York Times writer. Bringing in outside perspectives is a fruitful experience and allows me to expand my worldview in ways that aren't limited to only the classroom.

Favorite meal served on campus?
The vegetarian sausage breakfast sandwiches from the Anchor paired with a refreshing and filling mango smoothie.

Plans after UP?
I hope to live in a Spanish-speaking country for a couple of years, teaching English and continuing to learn Spanish, as either a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant or Peace Corps volunteer. Afterwards, I hope to return to school and complete my Masters of Social Work degree.

Favorite Portland area destination?
Forest Park and Peninsula Park!

Favorite UP professor?
All of my Social Work professors! They are supportive, understanding, and challenge me to examine social injustices in new ways. I am thankful to be part of a department that puts self-care into action.

Favorite UP class?
Native American Philosophy with Dr. Santana. I took this for my upper division philosophy metaphysics requirement and it blew me away.

Fun Fact
I can't turn my left arm to face palm-up.

Favorite Quote
"Whoever teaches learns in the act of teaching, and whoever learns teaches in the act of learning." -Paulo Freire

What is one piece of advice you would give yourself if you were a high school senior again?
Chill out. Everything will be fine. Be present and enjoy the experiences you have because they won't last forever.

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