Mathematics major Jack Ryan ’16, 2015 Lincoln Laureate, will speak on national panel

Nov 24, 2015

Jack Ryan ’16, a College Scholar and Goldwater Honorable Mention, has been selected for two additional honors that recognize his multi-disciplinary academic work and service to the North Central College campus. In November, he was honored as the College’s 2015 Lincoln Laureate, which recognizes outstanding college seniors at four-year degree granting institutions in Illinois.

He also was notified in November that he was selected for a panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U). North Central is a member of this national consortium of independent colleges and universities, which are dedicated to integrating liberal education, professional studies and civic engagement.

The panel will be held on January, 20, 2016, and Ryan will discuss his research project “Betting on Broadway,” which has combined his math major with his interest in theatre. He has explored how critical reviews might mathematically predict the Tony Awards.

Ryan will be among nine presenters who were selected from 35 applicants representing 16 schools nationwide. The purpose is to enlighten others about how students integrate the liberal arts, professional studies and civic engagement. Three panels are being held in conjunction with the publication of the book “The Power of Integrated Learning,” which profiles NAC&U member schools and their approaches to integrated learning.

“Students sharing this knowledge allows others to see what is possible when we integrate learning to include both liberal arts and professional studies with a focus on being a contributing global citizen,” says Nancy Hensel, NAC&U president.

At North Central, Ryan has simply found a way to combine his academic passions—his mathematics major and theatre. He has undertaken multiple research and travel opportunities. “I hope to go to graduate school to obtain my Ph.D. in mathematics and be a college professor but I didn’t want to lose theatre as a part of my life,” Ryan says. “It has become a central piece of my identity and something I really enjoyed doing.”

Last spring, Ryan was recognized by the Goldwater Scholarship program as a 2015 Honorable Mention honoree. The Goldwater Scholarship is the highest national award for undergraduate science and mathematics students and aims to encourage careers in mathematics, science and engineering.

“Being selected for these opportunities is a tremendous honor,” says Ryan. “I would not be in a position to have received these recognitions without the close faculty relationships I have cultivated at North Central. The diverse opportunities North Central provides have helped broaden my horizons and make me well-rounded.”

Watch for further information about a live webcast of the event.