January Young Professional Spotlight
Meet Sydni Dunn
Occupation: Press Secretary
Organization: Louisiana Department of Education
Tell us a little about your Baton Rouge Story. What brought you to Baton Rouge?
I first moved to Baton Rouge to attend Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication, where I studied print journalism. Immediately following graduation, in 2012, I moved to Washington, D.C., to report education news for a national newspaper. Three years later, I returned to the Red Stick to reunite with my long-distance husband and to pursue a new career opportunity in media relations. There’s a case to be made for coming home. I’m so glad I did.
Tell us more about how you’re involved in Baton Rouge.
When I’m not writing press releases about state initiatives to improve public education or visiting classrooms to see first-hand the great work of our educators and students, I’m engaged with educational programming as a board member on Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s Louisiana Educational Television Authority, or participating in local initiatives and programs, like Forum 35’s John W. Barton Sr. Community Leadership Development Program, to build my communication and leadership skills.
What is your favorite thing about Baton Rouge?
The outdoor activities. I love paddling local waterways in my kayak, playing foot golf at BREC’s City Park Golf Course, throwing the ball with my dog Pip at the Raising Cane’s Dog Park, and jogging (OK, slowly walking) around the LSU lakes.
What is your dream for Baton Rouge?
There is a tremendous amount of talent, entrepreneurial spirit, and passion driving rapid and positive change in Baton Rouge, and I hope this momentum is not only sustained, but magnified. I also hope this change is achieved through true collaboration and in a way that embraces our city’s diversity and promotes inclusivity.
How are young professionals like yourself shaping Baton Rouge?
My story—the tale of moving away and then returning home—is not a unique one. Many of the young professionals who are defining the future of the Capital Region are doing so, in part, because they spent time away from it—exploring prosperous cities and communities across the nation, learning what factors help those places thrive, and calculating ways to replicate that energy and innovation back at home while preserving the city’s rich history and culture.
What would you say to someone considering a move to Baton Rouge?
A beautiful, vibrant community lies within the gates of Louisiana State University—and outside of it. To fully understand and embrace Baton Rouge, you must explore all of its corners!
(And if I were speaking to a parent, I’d work my PR mojo and encourage them to visit the Louisiana School and Center Finder to find and learn about early childhood education programs and K-12 public schools in their new neighborhood!)
What is your Baton Rouge favorite?
- Place to eat: Pinetta’s European Restaurant
- Place to hang out: Mid City. I can grab a latte at French Truck Coffee, add to my vinyl collection at Pop Shop Records, browse local art at The Market at Circa 1857, hunt for rare finds at The Pink Elephant, satisfy my inner crazy plant lady at Garden District Nursery, enjoy a cold beer at Radio Bar, and explore the booming culinary scene along Government Street—all without leaving the radius of a few city blocks.
- Place to capture the perfect Instagram pic: LSU Hilltop Arboretum
- Place to people watch: LSU campus on game day
- Place to network: Local events like Mid City Makers Market, White Light Night and Ogden Park Prowl
- Way to give back: Subscribe to The Advocate! It’s hard to truly give back to your community if you’re not aware of what’s happening there.
- Event: Zapp’s International Beer Festival
With significant job growth, a bustling arts scene, delectable cuisine, abundant outdoor activities and more, the Capital Region attracts talent of all ages, including young professionals. Whether straight out of college or looking to establish their own business, more and more young professionals are choosing to lay their roots in Baton Rouge.
Each month, BRAC highlights one of these young Baton Rouge Area movers and shakers in the Young Professional Spotlight.