Sydney graduated summa cum laude from Bryn Mawr College in 2017 with a degree in Russian. As a Boren Scholarship recipient, Sydney studied at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan from 2017-2018. After returning to the U.S., Sydney spent two years working at American Councils for International Education, a non-profit dedicated to cultural exchange and immersive language training. Her research interests include Russian-language news media, post-Soviet language policy, as well as Soviet history and historiography.