Sydney, an Honors student from Lexington, N.C., also wanted to stick to her family’s agricultural roots. Her father and grandmother worked for water and soil conservation agencies in North Carolina’s Davie and Davidson counties.
“I grew up around Guilford and discovered that they had a new sustainable foods program, and it just kind of seemed to fit with me wanting a smaller school and staying in that agricultural field,” she says.
Sydney is now the administrative assistant and educational coordinator for Davie Soil and Water in North Carolina. Currently pursuing a master’s degree in agricultural leadership education and communications through an online program from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, she plans to continue for a doctorate to become a college professor.
“Teaching at UT would be cool, but I think I would prefer to teach at a smaller college like Guilford. I'd like to create the same experiences I had as a student — perhaps a smaller liberal arts school doing something with sustainable agriculture or environmental science or conservation,” she says.
The Honors scholar appreciates the well-rounded education she received at Guilford, noting the integral role that professors both inside and outside of her major had on her success.
Marlene McCauley set up and led the sustainable food systems program for the first four years. “Her guidance in what I needed to do for my honors thesis was very helpful,” Sydney says.
Biology professor Michele Malotky went on both of Sydney’s study abroad sessions to the Brunnenburg program in Italy and the Magic and Medicine program in Alnwick, England. “Michelle was really instrumental in helping me determine what I wanted to do the next semester and even after Guilford.”
Finally, Wess Daniels, the Director of the Friends Center, enriched Sydney’s experience as a Quaker Studies minor and Quaker Leadership Scholar. “I was in pretty much all of his classes. He was very helpful in providing spiritual guidance and defining the foundation of my spirituality,” she explains.