Hallie Grace Ryan
Hallie Ryan is LMU's 2020 Valedictorian. Ryan, who is earning a degree in biology with a focus on public health and epidemiology, aims to pursue a career as a primary care physician. First, she has tentative plans to go abroad: The native Kansan is awaiting word from the Fulbright Student Program on her application for yearlong English teaching assistantship in Spain.
LMU's Valedictorian is chosen annually on the basis of a competitive process open to students with a minimum 3.7 GPA, and who exemplify leadership and commitment to the values and ideals of a Jesuit education. Finalists are invited to give their speech a speech to the Valedictorian Selection Committee, a delegation of faculty, administration, and students. Ryan will be the student speaker when the Class of 2020 gathers for their Commencement Ceremony in the future.
Drawn to LMU for its size and devoted faculty, Ryan credits her rigorous coursework through the LMU Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering for turning her lifelong passion for science into a desire to delve deeper into pressing public health issues, in particular health care accessibility to underserved populations.
"LMU took every opportunity to create purpose and real-world applications for me inside and outside of the classroom," she says. "Whether it was through undergraduate research, exploring social justice issues, or engaging in community service, LMU instilled an acute sense of purpose in me that I intend carry on beyond the bluff."
She adds that a defining part of her LMU experience was her involvement in LMU's De Colores program, the monthly faith-based, service-immersion trips to Tijuana, Mexico, in pursuit of cross-cultural connections, service, and self-reflection.
"Returning to the same communities every month as a student leader, and building relationships with our community partners at Build a Miracle and Casa del Migrante, allowed me to form relationships I know will extend beyond my LMU experience and continue for years to come."
To her fellow graduates, Ryan says, "You not only have the capability to pursue successful careers, but the know-how and LMU Lion spirit to build relationships and a sense of community with those around you – wherever that may be."