Meet Ryan Sullivan

New Brunswick Community College (NBCC)
Twitter: @RyanSullivanNB

How did you become the Director of International Education at NBCC? What made you decide to get into this field?
Both my parents were teachers and my dad was a high school counselor, which got me interested in working in education.  I was a student assistant while working toward my undergraduate degree and then was hired as an admissions officer. Over the 15 years that I worked at my alma mater, I led teams in admissions, student services, residence life, and international recruitment. I jumped at the opportunity to help grow international education at NBCC in October 2015. NBCC is a great place to work.

What is your favorite part of the job?
It’s a privilege to work with, and on behalf of, students. I am inspired by my colleagues around the world who dedicate their careers to education.   

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
On a personal note, when I first attended a New England ACAC event in 2000, I had no idea how many friends, many of whom I consider family, I would make through NACAC. Volunteering on the board of International ACAC, attending NACAC conferences and Leadership Development Institutes, and now being a member of the International Initiatives Committee has had a significant impact on my professional career. Helping to lead International ACAC’s first strategic plan and be part of managing the affiliate’s explosive membership growth helped me be more strategic and focused in my own work.  There is a wealth of information to be garnered from NACAC staff and members. Being involved has helped me understand the industry better and stay on top of current trends in education.     

In the current political climate, has international recruitment changed?
International students can be impacted by many factors such as political instability, currency fluctuations, safety, major weather events, and more, both at home and at their chosen study destination. We must constantly be aware of how international students are impacted so that we can adapt accordingly and continue to be successful.  Globally-minded students and graduates are increasingly needed in today’s society and economy, which makes our work all the more important.       

What do you think is the biggest difference between your job in Canada and similar positions in the US?
I’d say there are more similarities than differences.  I’ve had the pleasure of traveling around the world with American colleagues from across the US and I find many commonalities in how we approach our work. All wanting what is best for the student, helping them find the college or university that is the “best fit” for them, is the what I see as most similar between my colleagues on both sides of the border.    

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
My wife, Julie, and our two-year-old son, Henry, love hanging out at home or at our cottage with family and friends. We also enjoy traveling and exploring new places together.    

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?

It would be pretty cool to be Superman.  I mean, who doesn’t want to be able to fly! 

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