Liberal Arts in Action!
Brenda Roberts Ellington
Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Associate Professor of English
Ellington has been an LSUA faculty member since 1987. Dr. Ellington was born in Lecompte, just a few miles south of LSUA. She earned a BA in Library Science at Louisiana Tech University; then as a University of Southwestern Louisiana / ULL Ragin’ Cajun, she earned teaching certifications in Library Science and English, an M.Ed. in Secondary Education, and a Ph.D. in English, majoring in Rhetoric and minoring in Linguistics, Early American Literature, and African American Literature. Dr. Ellington was a National Writing Project Teacher Consultant and has twice held the Mark Eugene Howard Endowed Professorship. Her teaching areas include Technical Writing, Professional Writing, Grammar, and Linguistics.
As many college graduates are struggling to find jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, one Louisiana State University of Alexandria student is already joining the Central Louisiana workforce in hopes to make a difference.
Sydney Victorian, a Bolton High School graduate and Spring 2020 graduate of LSUA, will begin her career in social work on Wednesday with the CENLA Homeless Coalition. As a program coordinator, she will work to help the homeless population in Alexandria get off the streets and find places to bathe, dress, eat, etc.
“I’m really looking forward to serving my community,” Victorian said. “I always knew I wanted to do some type of social work and help people. I actually volunteered at the Homeless Coalition during high school and knew it was something I could see myself doing.”
Sydney has consistently maintained her position that her calling is service, including one brief major change to nursing during her college coursework. Influenced by her mother, Donna Stiles, who is a registered nurse at the Veteran’s Affairs hospital in Alexandria and an LSUA nursing alumna, Sydney considered following in her mother’s footsteps.
“I thought since my mom was a nurse that maybe I should do that too. I quickly realized that wasn’t for me. I changed my major back to social work and am so glad I did. I know that I can really make a difference with people in our community right now who are greatly suffering from the pandemic we are in.” Victorian said.
Sydney was glad she did choose to follow her mother’s path and attend LSUA. Knowing how what a great experience her mom had while earning her nursing degree, Sydney knew that LSUA would be a perfect fit.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. The campus environment was great. I was comfortable. I’m definitely glad I stayed local,” Sydney said.
When asked about not being able to participate in a graduation ceremony, Victorian quickly stated that it wasn’t what she had hoped for, but the only thing she can do is take life as it comes and roll with it.
Her mother, on the other hand, was disappointed she won’t get to see her daughter walk across the stage.
“She (Sydney) worked so hard to earn her diploma and used walking across the stage as a driving motivation,” Donna said. “However, being a healthcare provider myself, I understand the importance of the decision made. She gets her diploma and immediately gets to start a new job, so I’m extremely proud of her and grateful to LSUA for the experience provided to all of us.”