Feb. 23, 2021
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University of West Georgia senior Sydney Francis has been named the university’s Academic Recognition Day scholar for 2021.

Sydney Francis holding a UWG shield sign

The Academic Recognition Day program honors undergraduate students from the University System of Georgia who are residents of Georgia and maintain a 4.0 grade point average. When she found out she had been named UWG’s 2021 recipient, Francis was “completely surprised.”

“I was shocked, honestly,” she said. “I’m so honored and appreciative to be selected. I know there are so many amazing people on campus, and I know there are other students out there making big moves within the community.”

Academic Recognition Day began more than 30 years ago as a celebration of Georgia students’ academic achievement. The honorees receive a resolution from the Georgia House of Representatives, along with a letter of commendation from the University System chancellor.

“We are thrilled to recognize Sydney for the hard work, dedication, and academic excellence she has exhibited throughout her time at the University of West Georgia,” said Dr. Jon Preston, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “As a civically engaged, involved student with a caring spirit, she is an excellent representative of UWG and our values.”

Ever since she was young, Francis has desired to care for others. She’s enrolled in the Tanner Health System School of Nursing and hopes to become an oncology nurse after graduating in spring 2021.

Francis gives much of the credit to a high school science teacher who taught her about healthcare and the impact it has on people’s lives. Her deepest passion for nursing, however, came from spending time as a caretaker for her grandmother.

“I want to provide the same care that my grandmother received,” Francis said. “I want to be a positive person in these patient’s lives, so I can brighten their days and bring some positive energy.”

In addition to her rigorous studies as a nursing student, Francis is active in many student organizations, including the Student Government Association (SGA), in which she currently serves as the chief justice. 

“Being a part of the SGA has allowed me to grow as a leader and have a positive impact on the campus community,” said Francis. 

Francis also serves as a University Ambassador and recently became a member of the prestigious University Blue Coats.

However, Francis said none of her accomplishments would have been possible without the love and support of her parents, Ingrid and Norman.

“My parents have been my No. 1 supporters throughout my college career,” Francis said. “I would not be the woman I am today without them, and I hope I can continue to make them proud.”

photography by Miranda Daniel