Name: Sydney Hofferber
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Major(s): Health and Human Physiology, Engaged Social Innovation, Nonprofit Management Certificate
Dream gig: Dietician in low socioeconomic communities at a public obesity clinic
Favorite UI professor: Dr. Lucas Carr
Favorite UI class: Physiology of Nutrition with Shawn Flannigan
Spirit animal: Ant
Favorite ice cream: Pistachio
Favorite place in the whole world: Interlaken, Switzerland
Disney character of choice: Princess Tiana from Princess and the Frog
Favorite book: Bossypants by Tina Fey
Go to drink order at Starbucks: Triple shot grande soy latte with a caramel drizzle
Sydney Hofferber is the defition of a go-getter. With less than a year left at Iowa, Sydney is making the most of her time. She is currently working on a research project exploring the effectiveness of educating college women on the benefits of breastfeeding versus using formula. Sydney is developing two videos accomplish this.
"No one feels emotionally drawn to paper products like a fact sheet. No one is going to read it," Sydney said.
She hopes these videos will help young women understand the science behind breastfeeding, a passion she developed in an Engaged Social Innovation (ESI) required course just last year. She explored food insecurity and how breastfeeding has the capacity to sometimes act as a solution for it. That passion drove her to assist with the opening and maintenance of the Food Pantry at Iowa, a project intitially launched by a fellow ESI student. She said that seeing the food pantry project become a real life entity inspired her to delve further into her own research.
The work that Sydney does outside of the classroom is what she believes is the most important. Like many ESI students, Sydney felt dissapointed in certain aspects of her education.
"I'm discouraged by the idea that learning is something that's not meant to be enjoyable or cool in classes with other people who are trying to do just enough. Group projects this way are not enjoyable because there is no imagination or innovation there," Sydney said.
Majoring in Engaged Social Innovation appealed to Sydney because she saw injustices in the world and felt empathetic towards other people's struggles. She also mentioned the ESI network of other students who are passionate about the things that keep her up at night as making the major addition an easy decision.
"It was largely a networking move but not in a 'trying to get a job way, but in a trying to change the world way," Sydney said.
This semester, Sydney, along with four other ESI women, will embark on a project that will connect UI students with more opportunities to become involved in the Iowa City community while developing themselves professionally and building their own portfolios. She will also continue work on her breastfeeding research videos leading up to her graduation in the Spring of 2017.
To find out more about the Engaged Social Innovation program at Iowa click here.
All images courtesy of Sydney Hofferber