Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State student is film’s fiercest competitor

January 20, 2017

From kicking her way into a state karate championship to kicking butt at Indiana State, student videographer Sydney Smiley has proven to be an all-around champion, in and out of the classroom.

The sophomore communication major from Greencastle has accomplished many amazing feats throughout her college career. However, camerawork isn't the only achievement on her resume, for Smiley also has another accomplishment in tandem to her passion of film -- a championship in karate.

When Smiley was in high school, she was encouraged to get into kickboxing and karate. At 17, she proved to be a natural, and within a year, Smiley was competing against participants her age who had been training -- and winning -- in karate for years.

"I was pretty excited when I learned that I was a state champion, the title is won by how many matches you win, and I kept coming in first place and all of that accumulated into me becoming a state champion," she said.

That feeling of discovering you're a state champion goes outmatched by any other, Smiley says. Though she decided to put her karate days behind her before beginning her college career, she never lost the drive and dedication that she put into her sport but, instead, has channeled it into her academics.

"It's really weird, actually," Smiley recalled about the process of picking her major four years ago. "I wanted to do health, but after a class my junior year (in high school), I realized that was not what I really wanted to do. So I decided to become a business major and figured after graduation, I could just do whatever. The night before classes started, I realized that I am terrible at math and didn't have the passion for it. So I thought, ‘Well, I like movies,' and changed my major. That was it."

Although the decision was spontaneous, it worked out for Smiley. While at Indiana State, she has worked for Sycamore Video, assisting with producing countless videos and commercials.

"She's very professional, she doesn't get lost in any distractions and always works with volunteers," said junior Nick Anderson, a member of Sycamore Video. "Sydney dips her hand into every part of videos we create. She's phenomenal at editing and spends roughly three hours editing and always helps other people with it. She also teaches new members how to edit, and she's also a wonderful photographer."

Set to graduate in 2018, Smiley looks at the future with optimism and lofty goals. In 2022, she hopes to play a hand in the production of Hollywood film.

"I think my biggest dream is to work in New York City in some sort of film production for a movie," she said. "I think that would be the ultimate goal."

-30- -- Sydney Smiley

Writer: Kayla Carmicheal, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or