How a Firehouse Led This Student to the Classroom

Each quarter at Globe University-Sioux Falls, we give special recognition to students, staff and faculty with the Essential Piece Award. This award is reserved for those who consistently go above and beyond to be an essential piece of our campus community. We are proud to introduce two shining stars on our campus for the award: Medical assistant program student Sydney Siemonsma, and administrative assistant, Tracey Nester. I recently sat down with Sydney to learn more about her background. You can read about Tracey Nester here.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you here.

Globe University-Sioux Falls

I am an active member not only at Globe University but also in my community. I am coming up on my third year as a volunteer firefighter/EMS personnel in Renner, S.D. What brought me to Globe was my original hope of someday opening my own restaurant and then going on to culinary school.

Globe UniversityYes, it’s a pretty big change, I know, but a big part of it was the fire department. I really liked to cook and work in the restaurant, but I just couldn’t see myself doing it for my whole life and being happy or even successful. So after figuring out that the thrill of running calls and getting to help people who needed it most really helped me decide.

What do you like most about Globe University-Sioux Falls?

I really like the small class sizes. My learning style is not “well class, here’s a book, good luck!” I love the hands-on learning and just how great our teachers are. The motto ‘We Care’ really does fit well with Jo and Amy [medical assistant program instructors]; they are always ready and able to answer any question that any student has and always will make time to either show you how to complete the task or point you in the direction of the nearest instruction manual.

What inspires you?

What inspires me most are my parents and grandparents. They are the most selfless people that I know. They always put everyone else before them, no matter what is going on and I just hope that I can continue to grow into my successful adult life much like they all have.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am most proud of myself for going back to school. I went through a rough time in high school, not because I wasn’t smart but because I lacked motivation and it didn’t take long for Jo and Amy to get me motivated and pointed in the right direction. I am also proud of being able to go to school and still be a very active member of my fire department. The department has not only helped me grow more as a student but it has helped me appreciate more things in life.

What does being an Essential Piece mean to you?

medical assistant programIt means that all of my hard work and dedication to Globe finally paid off and didn’t go unnoticed. I didn’t just do it all for the attention, I did it because I know it’s good to be an active member in everything you do because it not only shows that you care but it shows that you are really committed, and I’ve always been taught growing up that if you have the ways of helping, then do it.

What does community mean to you?

Community to me means everyone coming together and being a whole unit. I think of it as a three-legged stool—when all three legs are in good condition the stool is sturdy and the stool is comfortable to sit on. But if one leg gets kicked out or breaks, then the stool would then fall and no longer be functional. All aspects need to work together in order to be successful.

What do your family and friends think about you in school and the award?

My family was proud, not just because I won the award, but because of the things I did to win the award. It showed them just how much I’ve grown up over the last year or so, and that their influences on my life really did have a positive impact.

Tell our readers something unique about yourself that only close family and friends would know?

Most people wouldn’t know that all through school I was a huge musical and choir junky. I love music, whether its just listening to it or singing.

It really doesn’t matter what program you teach or what you do on campus, everyone knows and appreciates Sydney. Just read what others have to say:

Melanie Schopp, Campus Director: “Sydney has really become such a confident, young woman in her time here at Globe-Sioux Falls. She began her journey with us a little nervous, which is to be expected when going back to school, but Sydney worked hard to be a part of our campus and our culture.  She is one of the first students to volunteer her time, she is involved in many student organizations here on campus and she is a student who is utilized as a resource.”

Amy Zobel, medical assistant program chair, and Jo Penning, medical assistant instructor, are the two people who know Sydney best:

Jo Penning:Sydney has really blossomed in the medical assistant program. She is dependable and willing to go the extra mile when asked to help with students in other classes or volunteering at events.”

Amy Zobel: “Sydney is one of those students who takes pride in her hands-on skills and excels at them.  She is also someone that loves getting involved in community events.  She always is the first one to volunteer to help out.” 

Congratulations Sydney, you are truly an Essential Piece.  Sydney is currently on her externship at the Avera Clinic in Harrisburg.  Her graduation in September will be bittersweet as she will be missed greatly on campus. But someone out there will get a dedicated, fun and talented new employee who knows that it takes more than just a punch on the time clock to be valuable.