Advisor Spotlight: Meet political science advisor Ryan Ferrante

Advisor Spotlight: Meet political science advisor Ryan Ferrante

Advisor Spotlight: Meet political science advisor Ryan Ferrante

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Political science academic advisor Ryan Ferrante graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in secondary education as well as graduated with an M.A. in political science. Ferrante says his favorite part of being an advisor is the relationships he builds with students. “It's always awesome to watch students learn from their experiences and to reach their academic and career goals.”

How did your major get you to where you are today?

I taught history to middle and high school students for five years. I was taking classes to get a master's degree in political science and saw that they had an open position for an advisor. I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to work with students that were doing a major that I had a lot of interest in as well.

What did you gain from your liberal arts courses?  

I had an education degree, but my education focus was on the social sciences. I ended up taking enough history and political science courses that I could have majored in both of them in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. What I learned from those classes was how to appreciate different perspectives and experiences that people have in their lives. Learning about events around the world and how policies within the country affect people differently really started to help me to become a more empathetic person. The research aspect of my liberal arts courses also helped me to better understand how to investigate and form my own opinions about the world.

What's one of the biggest mistakes you made as an undergraduate student?

My biggest mistake was not seeking help when I needed it. I almost failed my math and science courses in my first year, and I never spoke to the professor, an advisor, or a tutor about getting help. I tried to do it all on my own. I am sure I would have done much better had I asked for help from anyone.

What approach do you take to advising?

I have two main approaches to advising. First, I try to be as proactive as possible. I am always looking at student records to try to predict where students might have an issue so that we can take care of it before it is too late. My second major approach is to focus on helping students make decisions for themselves. I rarely tell a student what they need to do. I focus more on helping students to think about their options and how to best make informed decisions about those options.

What's your advice for incoming students?

My biggest piece of advice for students is to never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. All of the faculty and staff on campus want to help students to be successful, but we cannot help students unless they let us know they need it. There are services available for anything a student is struggling with whether it is an issue in a class or outside of it. Your instructors and advisors are always a good place to start. They should know who to refer you to even if they cannot help you themselves.

Any advice for graduating students?

Prepare for what you are doing after college while you are still in college. Make connections and gain experience through doing internships, volunteering, and part-time work. If you plan to go to graduate school, then do your research on what the requirements are for your program of interest and prepare to meet those requirements before you graduate.
How can students connect with you remotely?

Students can email me at ryan.ferrante@wayne.edu, call me at 313-577-3170, or message me on Microsoft Teams.