Five years after leaving his alma mater, St. Thomas University alumnus Ryan Sullivan is back where he spent 16 years of his life.
Sullivan, who graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics, is returning as associate vice president for enrolment management.
“I’m excited to be back on campus,” Sullivan said. “There’s just something about STU, it’s a beautiful place to study and beautiful place to work.”
Sullivan previously worked at STU from 2002 to 2014 switching between admissions and student services roles. In Oct. 2014, he was hired as director of international education at the New Brunswick Community College.
Sullivan said a large part of the role involves student retention and making sure that services help students succeed when moving into the workforce or future studies.
This year, in returning to STU, Sullivan will work with all aspects of the student experience, including experiential learning, Indigenous Student Services and counselling services.
“This role is responsible for helping to ensure the student experience is a positive one from the first point of contact through to graduation,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan said STU does a good job on attracting and keeping students from across the globe.
“We need more people who are equipped to think critically and decipher what is right, what is wrong, what is the truth, and what is not,” Sullivan said.
“Our Liberal Arts graduates play an important role in taking what they’ve learned here and how they bring it into society and culture.”
Sullivan said retention rates for STU have increased over the last two years. He said according to the university’s “internal methodology,” STU’s undergraduate retention rates increased by almost 10 per cent from 2016 to 2017.
“The university does a really good job attracting a wide range of students, and we will continue to build on the success the admissions and recruitment team have had so far.”
Sullivan added the retention average for humanities, arts and social science programs in the Maritimes is 72.7 per cent.
Sullivan is looking forward to the academic year, and said his advice for students is to get involved.
“The more you get involved, the more you can build on that enthusiasm, and that directly reflects into your academics.”
“I feel strongly that St. Thomas produces the leaders of tomorrow.”