Senior Ryan Patel Embraces Every Orange Opportunity

Be Orange

Ryan Patel ’19 does it all, and then some. A dual major and dedicated student ambassador with his sights set on medical school, Patel isn't letting any second at Syracuse go to waste. #BeOrange

Ryan Patel portrait

To describe Ryan Patel ’19 as “bold” almost doesn’t seem bold enough. Patel has embraced his college experience so thoroughly, one wonders if he ever has time to sleep. “I didn’t know I was ready to take on the world when I arrived,” he says, “but at Syracuse, I have grown and developed in ways I couldn’t have imagined.”  

Ryan holds a Syracuse flag while in South Africa
Ryan Patel shows his Syracuse Pride while studying abroad in South Africa.

Becoming a University 100 Student Ambassador soon after arriving on campus means that Patel has conducted campus tours for prospective students and served on the Forever Orange Student Alumni Council (FOSAC). He has organized events for Orange Central and Forever Orange Week. He interned in the office of admissions, and has emceed Own the Dome twice, welcoming newly accepted students to campus. Patel had a transformative Syracuse University Abroad experience in South Africa, where he took part in a public health project educating local teenagers about drug abuse.

Discovering New Pathways

“Syracuse drew out so many of my passions and gave me outlets, creative spaces, programs and other opportunities to express them,“ he says. “It has led me down pathways I never expected.” Patel is pursuing a dual major—a B.A. in biology through the College of Arts and Sciences and a B.S. in public health through the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. He has conducted laboratory research focused on global health and on leukemia. While volunteering at Syracuse’s Veterans Administration Medical Center and in Crouse Hospital’s Emergency Department, he has spent many Friday nights transporting patients and making beds until 4 or 5 a.m. He has also interned in the Syracuse City School District’s Refugee Assistance program and at Vera House, a haven for domestic and sexual violence victims.

Choosing Syracuse

When the Los Angeles native first visited Syracuse University and took a tour, he knew this would be his home for four years. “I fell in love with Syracuse—the friendliness on campus, the passion for sports, the faculty and staff–but most of all, it was all the resources that would be available to me as a student who wanted to fully participate and prepare for a career in medicine,” he says.

I am grateful for all the privileges and opportunities I’ve had here.

Patel genuinely loves the culture he has found at Syracuse, and says it inspires him to push as hard as he can to achieve his dream of becoming an emergency room physician. “I am grateful for all the privileges and opportunities I’ve had here,” he says, acknowledging the benefits of attending one of the country’s top research universities and having continuous access to state-of-the-art facilities, multicultural influences, and deeply engaged professors. “The faculty are amazing,” he says, and their impact often goes beyond teaching. “They invite you to stop by their office or meet them for coffee, which leads to some great discussions.” 

Orange for Life

Ryan Patel (left) hosting Own the Dome 2017, an overnight event for admitted students.
Ryan Patel (left) hosting Own the Dome 2017, an overnight event for admitted students.

Following graduation in May, Patel hopes to earn a master’s degree in the medical sciences in preparation for medical school. He also aspires to become a truly engaged alumnus. “Being Orange means having so much passion and love for Syracuse University, you want to stay involved,” he says. “It means you give back and ensure great Syracuse experiences for Orange generations to come. It means you wear that “S” on your shirt with pride for the rest of your life.”

This story was first published on March 1, 2019 and last updated on .


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