Senior mass communications major Sydney Daniel, of Adams, Tennessee, a former cheerleader and TV show host, will be one of four student speakers at graduation this Friday.
Daniel is one of the younger graduates this semester, having recently turned 21 and graduating in just three and a half years.
Daniel is a student who has always had a large presence on campus.
She’s friendly with many faculty members, and has been involved with multiple clubs and organizations.
One of her most notable positions is hosting for SIUE’s Global Village, a news television show on campus.
Cory Byers, a mass communications professor and head of Global Village, believes Daniel’s success in hosting the TV show is indicative of how she will do on her speech.
“As a host she’s been really good. She’s good at knowing her lines, she’s good at public speaking, she’s really energetic,” Byers said. “So, she’s been a great host the whole three seasons [she’s worked on the show] … I think she’ll be very comfortable talking in front of a crowd.”
Along with hosting for Global Village, Daniel was an SIUE cheerleader for three years.
She also works at the Student Fitness Center as a club sports student assistant.
Phil Leyerer, the club sports and intramural coordinator for campus recreation, as well as Daniel’s boss, spoke on why he thinks she’s a good fit to speak at graduation.
“Sydney’s a go-getter. She sets herself goals and things that she wants to reach in her career and in here as a student at SIUE … I think that’s really made her stand out here in my area working on club sports,” Leyerer said.
In her interview, Daniel was quick to add that she had had two internships recently that she was proud of.
“I worked for the St. Louis Blues this past season, so technically I’m a Stanley Cup champion, but I’m not buying the ring because it was over ten grand,” Daniel said. “Can’t afford that.”
She said both internships were very demanding, with her often working nonstop seven days a week, but Daniel still valued what she learned about news and PR by being the face of the team at times.
For someone who’s interested in both news and sports, Daniel believed the internships were very valuable.
“I’ve been interested in it [reporting] since probably middle school … I’ve always enjoyed watching the news. Being an on-field reporter like an Erin Andrews type person would be super fun because I like to be involved in sports, but not necessarily super great with a ball, and cheerleading ends after college,” Daniel said.
When asked what makes her unique and what sets her apart, along with citing her accomplishments, Daniel mentioned her personality.
“I just feel like I’m very outgoing, I can make a friend everywhere,” Daniel said.
Watch Daniel speak for the College of Arts and Science at 1 p.m. Saturday Dec. 14, at the Vadalabene Center for SIUE’s Fall 2019 commencement.