Sydney Herdle will graduate in 2020 from Penn State University Park with a Bachelor of Arts in Photojournalism. After serving as a news writer on the university’s student newspaper, the Daily Collegian, she changed her major and career path to journalism. Sydney cites her lifelong interest in photography and former internship at her hometown newspaper, The Derrick and The News-Herald, as the driving force that led her to specialize in photojournalism. Her minor concentration is English.
During the academic year, Sydney works as a marketing photographer for CommAgency, Penn State’s student-run marketing media production agency. Her second job is as an assistant in the College of Communication’s photojournalism lab.
One of Sydney’s goals is to travel the country and the world as a photojournalist and/or photographer, through work or some other opportunity. “My ultimate hope is to one day formally set up my own business — preferably in my hometown of Franklin, Pa. — so I can continue to offer my services to the community that has and continues to help me grow as a journalist, photographer and person,” she said.
When she’s not writing or taking pictures for work, Sydney enjoys writing and taking pictures for personal enjoyment. She said that it helps her improve in her profession. She also enjoys listening to and performing music — she has been a percussionist for 10 years! Crafting, reading, and binge-watching TV shows are also on her list of leisure activities. What she likes the most, though, is spending quality time with her friends and family.
The scariest thing Sydney’s ever done was cover a commencement exercise by Vice President Mike Pence. She knows that doesn’t sound glamorous, but several factors caused her anxiety about the assignment:
- He gave the address at a local college in an area where anyone visiting from the White House was virtually unheard of.
- She was covering the event alone as an “18-year-old-fresh-meat-intern” at a paper I had only started working for a couple weeks prior.
- She was not only writing the story for the speech, but it was also her very first photography assignment for a publication.
“To say I was scared and stressed to the max is a bit of an understatement.” Sydney said. “Despite the pressure, though, it was an amazing experience and taught me a lot. I often look back on it and think that’s when my career started to get real.”
Sydney wants to participate in Writing Wrongs 2019 to help generate awareness and understanding for the community.
“Growing up a member of the LGBTQ+ community in an area where it is, well, not very appreciated or supported, I had to scour outside sources to learn about the community. Before college, I did not personally know any out-LGBTQ+ folk who could help guide my discovery journey. To make up for that, I found myself reading and watching hundreds of articles and videos of community members sharing their experiences and stories. … I promised my younger self that once I was comfortable and confident in my lifestyle and understood others’ well enough, I would give back to our community by helping share our members’ stories.”