By Ava C. Green, Features Editor
Sydney Umstead transferred to Canisius College in the fall of 2022 from Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, and she has since found her home here in Buffalo. She has written for The Griffin in the News section every single week since the beginning of this school year and hasn’t looked back since, starting as a news reporter writing mostly for “Beyond the Dome” and then becoming the assistant news editor at the beginning of the spring 2023 semester.
Although she came here from Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania, her mom is actually from Buffalo, but Umstead left Wilkes University because of her passion for journalism and the school’s lack of a true journalism major. She majored in communications and English at her old school and just knew that there was another way to get closer to her career goals of doing political and/or news journalism. “I just knew I wanted a more solid route to journalism,” said Umstead. She absolutely fell in love with what the journalism program here had to offer and began her sophomore year at a new school with a new major — a very exciting leap.
She knew right away that she wanted hands-on experience and immediately started working with The Griffin. Umstead reached out to our former news editor, Natalie Faas, and was very proactive and insistent on her involvement after so much time spent in the wrong major. She noted, “I really love writing and just wanted to have that background in doing it before I go for a career.” She knew she hit her stride with her favorite articles.
She’s especially happy with her piece, “Library sponsors ‘readout’ for Banned Book Week.” Umstead loved this topic in general, but she especially enjoyed seeing faculty and staff participate and read excerpts of their favorite banned books. And, although she loves the News section, she spoke about her affinity for our Opinion section as well. “They’re just so fun to read,” she said, envious of the humorous and editorial style that Opinion writers masterfully employ.
Umstead loves a good jam session and is especially proud of her “Shut up, I’m editing” playlist that she listens to when The Griffin’s editing nights get a bit too rowdy. The office does tend to get loud on Thursday nights, but Umstead says that the people on the staff are one of the best parts of her experience so far. Music is a huge part of Umstead’s life, which was evident in her flaunting of her record collection, her most prized piece being Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” album.
Umstead has been a joyous addition to The Griffin as she continues to work hard to keep the community informed and connected. Her passion is contagious, and the work she puts in is evident in every word she writes. The Griffin is so excited to see what her future with us holds!