Gordon Unzen '21
A triple major in psychology, philosophy and justice studies with a minor in German, Gordon Unzen is busy. Interestingly, the most important lessons he’s learned at UNH are about simplicity: connecting with friends and peers, taking walks outdoors or being in nature. “I’m usually on the go, so slowing down and stepping outside the noise has been valuable,” he says. “I’ll always strive to push myself but I’ve learned how to take care of myself so I can be present in the commitments that are most important to me.”
Unzen has definitely pushed himself. He’s co-president of UNH’s chapter of Psi Chi (the National Honor Society in psychology) and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. His academic awards include one for excellence in the study of German — he taught himself the language as a high school student, then studied abroad freshman year to master it — as well as an award for a UNH Undergraduate Research Conference philosophy presentation his junior year. The recipient of a Hamel Scholarship, Unzen also received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) junior year to research the impacts of artificial intelligence in the field of criminal law, the career he hopes to pursue after graduation. In addition to sitting on the UNH Student Senate his first year and participating in campus political organizations since then, he’s currently co-coordinator of the Socratic Society and a resident assistant in Gibbs Hall.
Interested in a criminal justice career, Unzen interned with the city attorney’s office in Rochester, N.H., and in UNH professor Ellen Cohn’s Legal Socialization Lab. “The Rochester law internship was super interesting because I worked hands-on with lawyers and actors in the system and it solidified my drive to go into criminal law,” Unzen says. “The research internship gave me a chance to assist in leading the lab and conduct independent research projects which have prepared to me to undertake an honors thesis in psychology.”
As he weighs law school admissions, Unzen believes COLA has prepared him for whatever the future brings. “I loved my experience in COLA,” he says. “It allows students to undertake multiple majors, do independent research, study abroad, and really connect with faculty. I feel prepared to go to law school with a wide variety of viewpoints and academic lenses under my belt.”