Alumni

June 29, 2016 at 3:21 pm

Sociology-Journalism Alum Receives Awards, Publishes Third e-Book

Sydney Epps at the edge of the Grand Canyon

Sydney Epps ’12 has been working at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona for two years and really enjoys the northern Arizona area.

“It’s very picturesque,” says Epps, who graduated in 2012 with her B.A. in Sociology from the College of Arts and Sciences and B.S. in Journalism Broadcast News from the E.W. Scripps School Journalism at Ohio University.

“I keep this passion for journalism alive by maintaining the social media streams for the Department of Housing and Residence Life and writing books in my spare time.” She published her third book in February 2016.

She has worked in student affairs for almost 10 years, but she also worked as a reporter and radio director. Epps also enjoys playing basketball, football and the occasional rugby game – and advises the Women’s Rugby Club on campus.

Recruitment, Programming and Community Service

“I have worked in housing for several years, yet I have always held specialized roles focusing on wellness, as well as diversity and inclusion.

“I currently work at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as the Area Coordinator for First Year Students, where I have been able to make great strides in bringing wellness issues to the forefront through recruitment, programming and community service,” she says.

“I am also dedicated to the recruitment and retention of quality staff to serve our students. Earlier this year, I sat on the hiring team for our Campus Safety officers and our grant-funded wellness adviser position.” She is a member of the Diversity Advisory Board and the Sexual Misconduct Resource Team.

“In October 2015, I executed a week of events focused on Relationship Violence, including Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, The Clothesline Project and Take Back the Night. I received a Service Excellence Award for this initiative.”

Collaboration!

“My passion is collaboration within university departments and community organizations – working with our Women’s and Diversity Center, Center for International Programs, the Wellness Center, as well as Student Activities and Fraternity and Sorority Life has allowed for Housing to become more tied to the goal of student retention, leadership and activism,” Epps says.

“I work closely with Prescott’s Chief of Police in community education on a wide variety of topics; we last collaborated to execute a Mental Health Awareness Month forum on Embry-Riddle’s campus, which educated staff on identifying students of concern and offering support and resources.

“He encouraged me to sit on the Yavapai County Coordinated Community Response Team, which brings together professionals who traditionally respond to domestic violence and sexual assault in an effort to develop a climate within the community where victims are safe and batterers are held accountable,” she says.

“As the adviser for the Embry-Riddle Residence Hall Association, I have been able to develop community service projects – our group has served hours at the local zoo, donated more than 1000 cans of food to two local food banks and made blankets for Project Linus, an organization that donates hand-made blankets for critically ill children.”

Visionary Award

Sydney Epps with Prescott Area Young Professionals organization

“One of my supervisees completed our latest departmental program, Alternative Spring Break. It was my pleasure to join a team of students to revitalize sections of Yarnell, AZ, where in 2013, a large forest fire killed 19 City of Prescott firefighters. This is one of several service projects which I have been involved in,” she says.

In January 2016, because of her role and participation in these kinds of projects, she received a Visionary Award from the Prescott Area Young Professionals organization, which highlights a passion for service learning which has progressed the area.”

Author of Three Books

Epps has three eBooks available on Kindle: Exposure, Exposed (The Exposure Series), and He.: A Collection of Writing and Poetry.

“As a journalist, I enjoyed telling the stories of others, but I always wondered how much impact I could make as a mere surveyor,” she says.

“As an author, I get to write about how I have been involved in experiences that have taught me about the struggles and achievements of the world around me. I can really step back and analyze situations more thoroughly and at greater length than a reporter, which caters to my sociological mindset.”

In the Exposure series, she details the college experience from the point of view of a student leader who is a new sorority member and realizes the impact of being LGBT and Black within Greek life at a predominately white institution.

“The other concepts within tie to the societal definition of power and masculinity within intimate relationships,” Epps says.

“In ‘He.,’ I am detailing how women are impacted by male interaction (or inaction) throughout their lives, how fathers and boyfriends and abusers can change the perspective of a woman’s world is reflective of our patriarchal society.

“Ultimately all of my writing focuses on how this archaic steadfastness to traditional gender roles create tension within our lives, from personal relationships to social institutions.”

Her Education Continues

While working full-time, Sydney earned her M.S. in Organizational Leadership (in less than two years!) from Embry-Riddle’s online program in 2016, and is relocating during the summer in order to start on her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Louisiana State University.

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