Student Spotlight - Sydney Smith

Sydney Smith next to an anvil


Major: Applied Engineering with a concentration in Technology Management

Expected Graduation: Spring 2025

For Sydney Smith, choosing Kent State was driven not just by its beautiful campus but also by its burgeoning engineering program. The faculty of the College of Aeronautics and Engineering (CAE) inspired Sydney with its dedication to innovation, providing students ample opportunities to explore and grow.

At CAE’s recent grand opening of its 40,000-square-foot expansion, Sydney had the opportunity to share how CAE has shaped her into the leader she is today. “I am so extremely grateful to be surrounded by devoted professionals who help to refine my leadership in every class, club, and conversation I share with them,” said Sydney. “I cannot wait to see all the mighty things that are done in this new space!”

Since stepping onto campus, Sydney has been an active force, immersing herself in various roles and commitments both on and off-campus. From serving as treasurer for Combat Robotics to leading a Life Group at H2O Church, she's also the office assistant for Dean Bloebaum and has interned with BWXT and Competitive Interiors. Most recently she was a project manager for SkyHack 2023, an event that brought together innovation and collaboration within the Design Innovation Hub and CAE. After a year of planning, preparing and executing, all her hard work came to life. “It was an amazing opportunity to watch others meet and work together to solve issues in a 36-hour period,” said Sydney.

One of Sydney’s favorite experiences was in her Manufacturing Technology class, where she served as the CEO of a self-built company, a-MAZE-balls, which created unique Kent State ball mazes as memorabilia and Christmas gifts. The production presented a challenge, but the team's strong bonds and problem-solving skills led them to a record-breaking sellout of 125 units in just a day-and-a-half. Witnessing the group's transformation from strangers to a successful business was an incredibly rewarding experience for Sydney.

Throughout her journey, one individual has stood out—Tim Kyer, CAE’s Director, RCM & Business Operations, whom Sydney has worked under for two years in the dean’s office. Sydney admires his work ethic, willingness to assist others, and approachability. Under his guidance, she has grown both academically and professionally.

Yet, Sydney's path hasn't been without challenges. Selecting the right engineering major posed a hurdle, but her perseverance and flexibility in managing credits allowed her to navigate this challenge without derailing her graduation timeline.

Learning from her peers has been integral to Sydney's growth. She emphasizes the importance of community, citing the invaluable support and camaraderie fostered through study groups and club involvements. Sydney Smith's journey highlights the wealth of opportunities and growth that CAE fosters within its vibrant community. Dare Mighty Things!

Display for the A-Maze-Balls project
The A-Maze-Balls milled plastic maze

In a Nutshell

Beyond Engineering: I have been a Life Leader at H2O church for the past two years.

Nuggets of Wisdom for New Students: Do not pressure yourself to have it all figured out. If you overly plan your future, the doors that open for you might seem like obstacles. Allow room for all the possibilities that are and will be open to you.

Buzzwords from My Cheer Squad: Driven, caring, intelligent, loyal, funny

Favorite Movie: The Hunger Games Series

Favorite Spot on Campus: I love the second floor of the Student Center. No matter the season, it is always beautiful to look out while studying and get a glimpse into the life of campus.

Favorite Book: The Bible!

The Craziest Scooter Spot Ever: Inside someone’s dorm room.

Playlist: There is guaranteed a mix of Wild Rivers and worship songs.

My Go-To for Kicking Back: I love to spend my free time getting coffee downtown with friends!

A Cause that Fires Me Up: I am passionate about current politics and diversity of thought during those conversations.

POSTED: Monday, January 8, 2024 05:11 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 21, 2024 11:27 AM