Alumni Issue: Ryan Davidson

Categories:  News    Edinboro Alumni Issue 2018
Thursday, October 4th, 2018 at 9:39 AM
Alumni Issue: Ryan Davidson by James Palo

At Nebraska Wesleyan University’s (NWU’s) White Hall, room 138, Ryan Davidson sits at his desk, going over memos, emails, and other electronic missives from various students and his coworkers. 

Already in his second year of his career, he’s listening to the late Mac Miller’s final album, “Swimming,” when he receives a Facebook message asking for an interview from a student of his alma mater, Edinboro University.

Davidson, 29, works as a residential education coordinator at NWU, a private liberal arts university, where he oversees suites and on-campus townhouses for over 350 students. He also is on several university committees: such as one on bias intervention and one on sexual violence prevention. 

He completed his bachelor’s degree in communications, as well as his master’s degree in college counseling at Edinboro University. 

Davidson loves his job. “I get to work with college students every day. It’s always an adventure [and] you never know what will happen. It could be a boring day, where you don’t receive any calls or emails. Or you could be up all night because someone threw a football inside and broke a sprinkler head — causing 3,000 gallons of water to be dumped into a room.  Honestly, I could write a book about the stuff I’ve seen.”

He of course graduated, but Edinboro wasn’t easy for Davidson. In his first few years, his mother, Donna Davidson, was diagnosed with cancer.

 “If it wasn’t for my RA (residence assistant) Philip Casolo, I probably would have dropped out and just worked back at home.” 

He grew up in McKees Rocks, a low-income township on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, characterized by its high crime rate and a saturation of drugs in the community. “Even though my town has problems, I still have a fierce love for my hometown.” 

Davidson went on to mention that the reason why he is listening to Mac Miller’s last album is because of how close in age they are,  how he has friends dealing with addiction, and because the two grew up in Pittsburgh. 

During his undergrad, he joined Lambda Chi Alpha, was a resident assistant, graduate hall coordinator, had a radio show on Edinboro’s radio station, WFSE, and would go on to be the general manager of the college radio station during his senior year.

Davidson’s love and dedication to Edinboro continues to this day, where he is still involved with Edinboro’s Lambda Chi Alpha chapter as a member of the fraternity’s alumni advisory board. “I also organize a yearly golf-outing for the alumni of the chapter and various charities, whose proceeds go to the Edinboro Food Bank, Boro Women’s Services, Thrifty Threads and the United Methodist Church.”

Moving from the bustling streets of Pittsburgh to Edinboro was as if he landed on an alien planet. However, as his involvement in the university grew, so did his fondness for the town.

Davidson commented about his move from grad school to working in Nebraska.

 “My move to Lincoln was easy, but it’s tough being so far away from friends and family. Luckily for me, my girlfriend (Gabriella) moved out here and we got a dog together. Plus, Lincoln is a refreshing mix of Pittsburgh and Edinboro. It has the convenience of a city plus the positive environment of a rural area. But even more importantly, it has way less snow than ‘Boro.”

He is also looking into a doctoral program in either leadership or communications and looks to teach at a collegiate level.

In the meantime, he spends countless hours helping students at NWU, setting an example for the students.

 “Hopefully I’m having the same impact now with my students as Phil and other mentors at Edinboro had on me.”

James Palo can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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