Sydne Johnson and Prof. Amanda Nelson

The sky is the limit for Sydne Johnson

The Kenosha, Wis. native dreams of anthropological research in Asia or curating a museum exhibit on East Asian history. Don’t doubt her. In four years she has immersed herself in travel (South Korea), school (double major in history and biology), clubs and organizations and work (as a phone-a-thon caller). As she nears the end of her college career, Sydne’s gratitude for giving has grown, but so has her concern for the next generation of college students. Read this insightful Q & A:

Sydne Johnson portrait

Sydne Johnson

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I’m a senior, double majoring in History and Human Biology, with an emphasis in Health Sciences. I’m from a small town of about 1,000 people in Kenosha County. As for my career interests, I hope to get a doctorate in Anthropology. Ideally, I would like to work and live abroad, which would include doing research, museum work and museum curation.

Q: I see you are a phone-a-thon caller, so you have had a chance to talk to hundreds of UW-Green Bay alumni. What have you learned through your experience?
A: I’ve come to realize that alumni don’t just graduate and forget about the University, they are as much a part of the University as the current students are — maybe even more so, as some alumni have been here to help since the University’s start.

Q: Alumni donations help support students like yourself. What would you say to encourage alumni to donate to UWGB?
A: There is a growing need for financial support; so many students are putting themselves through college, and loans can build up fast. The more financial help we can get the better, and it helps to know that someone wants us to get an education just as much as we want to get one.

Q: What led you to choose to pursue your education at UW-Green Bay?
A: Originally, I was accepted to other schools, many of which were in the heart of larger cities. I liked the fact that Green Bay was a smaller city, and that it was a smaller university — no classes with hundreds of people. UWGB also has a really good program for Human Biology and Health Sciences.

Q: Are you happy with your decision?
A: UWGB has definitely exceeded my expectations; at first I just thought I’d be coming and going to class. Since I’ve been here, I’ve learned it’s more about gaining hands-on experience. Community is provided in every student organization offered. I’ve gotten academic experiences I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to take part in had I gone to a different university. It’s just a great school.

Q: Can you think of one person who has impacted your educational experience?
A: Prof. Sherman, my history advisor, is one of those people who is always looking to do the most she possibly can for her students. Overall, professors are so supportive.

Q: How have you seen yourself grow in the years that you’ve been here?
A: I would say I am definitely more confident in my academic abilities, and as a student leader. I am now more comfortable branching out and trying new things. The community feel of UWGB has helped make this change possible.

Q: What would you tell an alumnus who is getting a call from UW-Green Bay?
A: Please answer the phone. The call is more than just asking for a charitable donation to your alma mater: it’s a chance for you to stay connected to the university, with current students, and with campus happenings. There is a phone-a-thon caller on the other end of the line that would love to speak with you!

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