Grad profile: Making a splash in the community

Convocation profile: Jeremy Ryant, Arts & Social Sciences

- May 31, 2016

FASS graduate Jeremy Ryant. (Nick Pearce photo)
FASS graduate Jeremy Ryant. (Nick Pearce photo)

Some of the best decisions Jeremy Ryant has made in his life have been unexpected ones.

For example, the Political Science major (with a minor in International Development Studies) never expected to end up overseas working on food security issues for an international NGO conglomerate. But when a teaching assistant pitched the idea of applying for a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship, he put his name forward on a whim—and three weeks later was on a plane to Uganda for the entire summer.

The Winnipeg native didn’t expect to end up at Dalhousie in the first place. It was only when his father suggested Dal, nearly at the last minute, that the idea of heading east took root.

“It’s been a great experience,” says Jeremy. “It’s a place that fits me well.”

The one thing Jeremy always expected to do, though, was swim. With the Dal Tigers, he has been an AUS (Atlantic University Sport) All-Star, a nine-time AUS medalist, a four-time Academic All-Canadian, and the recipient of both the AUS and CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) community service awards. He’s been president of Dalhousie’s Varsity Council and keenly involved in many of the Tigers’ charity and community initiatives.

“I’ve always thought the role of the student athlete is about more than going to train and compete, kicking around a ball or swimming in a pool,” he says. “It’s really tripartite: it’s about succeeding in your sport, in your community and in your academics.”

In the classroom, Jeremy has developed a keen interest in Canadian governmental institutions, completing an honours thesis on the federal cabinet. This summer he’ll be working as an intern on Parliament Hill before heading to law school.

“I might do a master’s or a PhD down the road,” he says, “but I’m really interested in public law and human rights law, seeing how I can take my interest in social justice and community work and use a law degree to forward those ambitions.”

The article is part of a series of profiles on members of the Class of 2016. Read all of our grad profiles. Spring Convocation takes place May 13 in Truro and from May 30 to June 4 in Halifax.


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