Bay College water resource management major Sydney Gallagher still calls Texas home today. After taking Bay classes online for a few semesters, she has started attending classes in person during the fall 2021 semester. Though she lives far away from Delta County, Sydney has family ties to Bay College and the Escanaba area.
According to Sydney, she graduated from Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, AZ, in 2019. Then, she began virtually attending Bay classes during the fall 2019 semester.
Sydney had not given much thought to water technology before starting classes at Bay. She described herself as being interested in the arts and noted she had considered becoming a yoga instructor at one point. Still, she agreed to explore the field of water resource management at the suggestion of her father – Bay College water technology instructor Troy Gallagher.
“He thought it would be a great idea for me to try it out … I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at the time,” she said.
Despite some early doubts, she quickly found herself enjoying the world of water technology. After taking her first water resource management class online during the fall 2019 semester, she took additional courses online in 2020 and 2021.
“I like that it’s hands-on … and that it’s not computer-based,” Sydney said about her reasons for enjoying this field.
That said, Sydney has spent much of her time as a Bay student taking online classes. Though she prefers to learn in person, she has successfully adapted to learning in a digital environment.
“Over the years, I’ve found it to be getting easier,” she said.
For the fall 2021 semester, Sydney is living with her father in the local area. Most of her classes are still online, but she does come to Bay’s campus on some days for labs.
So far, she said she has enjoyed her time on Bay’s physical campus. One major factor assisting in her offline education has been the clear signage and maps throughout the building.
“It’s easier to maneuver around than I thought it would be,” Sydney said.
Sydney plans to earn a certificate in water resource management at the end of the fall 2021 semester. After accomplishing this, she plans to take her next major step – namely, finding work in her field of study.
“I’m hoping to become a water operator. I live in Texas, so hopefully I’ll be able to work at a Texas water plant. That’s my main goal,” she said.