Class on social change writes and will later publish a collaborative book

By Megan Brown

The students in the class “Millennials and Social Change,” along with Union Professor of Spanish and Hispanic Studies Christine Henseler, have written a book that will be published in a few weeks.

When asked to describe the class, Professor Henseler stated, “The course is about the rise of the everyday changemaker, about the change our students here at Union College wish to see in the world, in their own communities.

To give voice—and a national public platform—to their thoughts, fears and ambitions, we are self-publishing a book that compiles feature articles written during the course of this term. Toward this goal, students were tasked to write their ‘Stories of Change’ from deeply personal places and perspectives. To call others to action.”

“I already had a class with Professor Henseler and she was amazing, so I was already interested. The name of the class was also intriguing, so I just decided to go for it,” said Kaitlyn Connor ’21.

“On the first day, she mentioned that we would be writing a book and I got so excited… I didn’t think it was real,” she stated.

On the first day of class the students were shuttled to an office space at Urban Co- Works in downtown Schenectady with floor-to-ceiling windows.

“The use of this space has been essential for the success of this class,” explained Professor Henseler. “It gives the students the space for personal and authentic expressions and it allows us to shift into a more student-driven and workshop-oriented approach in which my role as a professor moves into the background, thus allowing them the voice and decision-making power to move their book forward in the ways in which they desire. To accomplish this, I felt that it was imperative to move out of a pure classroom setting.”

“I really liked that the environment was quiet and you saw professionals working and being productive with their time. It provided a good role model for us to be productive with their time there,” Hayden Paneth ’20 said.

“Generation Now: Millennials Call for Social Change” will be available for purchase on Amazon for $9.50, with the proceeds going to a foundation, on which the class will decide at a later date.

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