Class of 2021 (Lowell House)
Hi friends! I'm Sydney McDonald, and I am a senior living in Lowell house, originally from Bangor, ME. I'm concentrating in Government, in the technology science program, and am pursuing a secondary field in Anthropology. I am incredibly excited to get to know you all as a Peer Concentration Counselor this year!
I have found a home in the Government department and really enjoyed my time as a concentrator: I specialize in technology policy, data privacy, and ethical technology in government. The Tech Science program has allowed me to really develop that interest through classes like GOV 1430, Tech Science to Save the World, and GOV 1433, From Democracy to Technocracy and Back, both taught by Prof. Latanya Sweeney. I've also really enjoyed GOV 94JH, American Cyber Politics, with Jenn Halen, and GOV 1790, American Foreign Policy, with Prof. Josh Kertzer.
Outside of classes, I have worked as a course assistant for DPI 663 at the Kennedy School, Tech and Innovation in Government, and worked as a research assistant at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at the law school. I worked with two projects, one focused on race relations in online dating platforms, and the other tracking hotbed topics in the 2020 election based on social media activity. I also sing with an a cappella group, the Radcliffe Pitches, dance with Expressions Dance Company, and work with the Harvard College Consulting Group.
I've spent my past two summers working with the Walt Disney Company as a product manager, one summer with Walt Disney World Technology and most recently working on Disney+, improving their data privacy practices. This year, I am writing my senior thesis on the impact of the fake news environment on trust in political information published by news media outlets, and the impact of this relationship on the 2020 election. After graduating, I'm hoping to get into product management and work on bringing together social consciousness and ethical product management, and maybe one day bring those interests to the public sector.
Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about Gov, any of my interests above, or just to say hello! I can't wait to meet all of you.