By Elianna Novitch
After four years of engagement and hard work at the University of Iowa, senior Sydney Hofferber prepares to graduate and move on to continue making a difference.
Hofferber is graduating with a double major in health and human physiology on the health promotion track and in engaged social innovation with a certificate in nonprofit management.
Hofferber is in the interviewing process for two government positions.
During her time at the UI, she was heavily involved in activities such as University Democrats, Tri-Hawks, and the Honors Program. She was also heavily involved in the implementation of the Food Pantry.
“The Food Pantry has taken a lot of my time this year and been a really important part of my University of Iowa experience,” Hofferber said.
This was the Food Pantry’s first full year of service.
“I applied to be the volunteer coordinator last spring and was hired and then by circumstance also became the pantry manager,” Hofferber said. “I’ve been working there for the past year, and there is a small executive team. We all kind of have a hand in everything that goes on in the Food Pantry. It’s definitely our baby.”
UI student Jessica Thompson, who is also graduating, worked with Hofferber at the Food Pantry this year.
“She is a really hard worker. She’s had at least two jobs ever since we were freshmen because she’s been working her way through school,” Thompson said. “Doing that along with being involved in student organizations and being an Honors student and starting [the Food Pantry] shows that she is incredibly hard working.”
Thompson said her experience working with Hofferber has been great.
“She seems to be in her place [in the Food Pantry] because she understands how to interact with people in a pleasant way, and she knows how to make sure people are comfortable,” Thompson said. “She understands their boundaries.”
Hofferber said the pantry will be a part of a legacy that will last for years in Iowa City.
“Implementing anything is not easy, and so laying down some guidelines that people can expand on and make the services even better really feels empowering and feels like there is a part of me that is staying in Iowa City,” Hofferber said. “The University of Iowa gives you so many support systems for the four years, and I definitely feel like I’ve gotten a lot of support on campus, and so having something that I can leave and say this is a support system I’ve helped create for you guys is amazing. It’s a way I can give back in a little way.”
Honors faculty member David Gould also got to know Hofferber well during her time at the UI.
“She’s had a huge impact,” Gould said. “She is a leader with her classmates, and I think that all students, especially in the engaged social innovation major, were better because they had her as a classmate.”
Gould also noted Hofferber’s affinity for helping those in need.
“She cares a lot about when there is a need [or] an injustice,” he said. “Sydney is the person you want on your side.”