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Two students reflect diversity at UALR

Submitted by Jamila Brown on October 7, 2010 – 8:03 amNo Comment

In a capitol city like Little Rock, one is sure to find diversity at every turn, and UALR mirrors the exciting variety of our city. Two students, one an entertainer and the other a future entrepreneur, show that despite varying interests and course loads, Trojans can all share common ground.

Sydney Ippolito, a sophomore dance major, came to UALR from Birmingham, Ala. Only slightly over a year into her post-secondary education, this dancer with blue-streaked tresses has an impressive resume. She performed principal roles for the Arkansas Festival Ballet, guest-starred back home in the Birmingham Ballet, and most recently danced with the Evansville Ballet in Indiana.

Of the dance program at UALR, Ippolito said, “I am learning so much. It’s more of a modern style of dance, so it’s very different from the strict ballet training that I’m used to.”

Photo by Jamila Brown. Bobby Gray (right), lends a shoulder as Sydney Ippolitto (left), sophomore dance major, demonstrates a ballet pose.

She sees the future of dance like a cycle, the style constantly rotating between rebellious and traditional ballet forms. She definitely sees herself as a part of that future.

“My plan is to open a dance company here in Arkansas. A big one, that people will come from all over to see,” she announced enthusiastically.

When she isn’t talking tutu, the punk rock princess spends her time involved in the various theatrical productions in and around Little Rock. She is currently the stage manager for UALR’s production, “The Ladies Man,” which she said everyone should see for a good laugh.

It may seem like Ippolito is always working, but to de-stress she said she loves the atmosphere of Little Rock’s downtown.

Another student who is no stranger to the downtown vibe, despite his self-proclaimed lack of rhythm, is Bobby Gray.

Gray, a senior marketing and international business major, is originally from Virginia Beach, Va. and has big plans for his future as well.

“Hopefully I can find a job,” he joked about his goals after graduation. However, when it comes to long-term dreams Gray is all business, literally. He is interested in real estate and wants to own a shoe store.

“The group projects were the best,” Gray said of his education in UALR’s business school. He recounted a specific presentation on American brand marketing in foreign countries and noted, “cultural sensitivity is an important issue at home and abroad in business.”

With social media, globalization and changes in modern business, Gray said he thinks it’s important for non-business majors to take a class or two within the business department to help them be informed about their future endeavors.

Who knows, with Ippolito planning to start her company in the next few years and Gray’s lack of rhythmic skill these two Trojans may cross paths in more than just the DSC cafeteria. The ballerina and the businessman are just two examples of the diversity at UALR and how that diversity makes our school the campus for future success.

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