Olivia Ryan ’18 awarded Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs
The recent Elon graduate is participating in the fellowship that seeks to develop “the next generation of aspiring change makers” and will be working in a variety of sectors in New York City.
A recent Elon graduate is spending nine months with government, corporate and nonprofit organizations in New York City after being selected for a national fellowship program that cultivates young leaders.
Olivia Ryan ’18, who graduated in May with a degree in policy studies, is the recipient of a 2018 Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, one of 12 selected this year.
Founded in 1942, Coro is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institute that develops young leaders through placement into philanthropic, corporate, media and civic sectors. The fellowship program places 12 participants each year in one of five Coro Centers across the United States: New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Pittsburgh.
Fellowship recipients represent a wide range of interests, ideologies and experiences. The institute’s original mission was to “train young veterans in the leadership skills necessary to assure that our democratic system of government could more effectively meet the needs of its citizens.”
At Elon, Ryan was a Leadership Fellow, a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship, and was named the 2015 Gender and LGBTQIA Center Breakout Student of the Year. During her senior year, Ryan participated in an executive internship in the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education, an experience that she says solidified her love for advocacy work, her passion for communicating important issues and her interest in the Coro Fellowship.
“Through this internship, I worked with the Latinx/Hispanic community to try to find out more about the history of the community before making recommendations on how to better represent and celebrate Latinx/Hispanic people at Elon,” Ryan says. “The mentorship from Dr. Randy Williams (associate vice president for campus engagement) and Sylvia Muñoz (associate director for the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education) gave me the confidence and support I needed to apply and to be my authentic self throughout this process.”
Ryan first learned about the Coro Fellowship from Dan Sheehan ’15, a recipient of a Coro Fellowship who was Ryan’s tour guide when she first visited Elon as a prospective student. Once Ryan completes her fellowship, she plans to attend graduate school and to pursue degrees in journalism and law.
“It is an honor to be part of a program that has produced such incredible advocates, communicators and government workers whom I can learn from,” Ryan says. “Ultimately, I want to work in advocacy and communications, with hopes of bringing public support and awareness to important laws and court cases. I believe that Coro will give me the network, mentorship and experience I need to accomplish that.”
Ryan is the daughter of Heidi and Mark Ryan of Glen Rock, New Jersey.
Elon students and recent alums interested in the Coro Fellowship or other nationally competitive fellowships are invited to visit the National and International Fellowships Office in Powell building or to call (336) 278-5749.