Ryan Perry ’14 ventured more than 8,000 miles from Canberra, Australia, to study criminal justice at Alvernia’s Reading, Pa., campus.
“Twenty-three years ago, my parents left New Jersey so my dad could work for six months at the Australian Institute of Sport as a sport psychologist; they fell in love with the place and never left,” Perry says. As a result, Perry was born there and spent the first 18 years of his life as an Australian citizen.
When Perry started his college search, he wanted a small Catholic university with Division III sports (because he played baseball at the time) and a good criminal justice program.
“I felt a smaller school would really help me academically, and it really has,” Perry says. “Here, the professors know me on a first-name basis, and I can go into their offices whenever I need to. In class, I can put my hand up and immediately have my question answered,” he says.
Perry is studying criminal justice at Alvernia with the ultimate goal of joining the Secret Service. Next summer, he plans to enroll in Officer Candidate School for the United States Marine Corps. “I will attend the Reading Police Academy my first semester, finish the last of my courses my second semester, and then graduate with commission as a second lieutenant,” he says. “I will serve in the Marine Corp for six years and then hopefully enter the Secret Service when I am 29.”
The day after Zackeraya Elmarzouky moved to the United States from Egypt nearly two years ago, he started his first day as a freshman at Alvernia University. His transition to American culture and campus life at Alvernia has been seamless, thanks in large part to his diligence, activity on campus and ability to prioritize.
“I am very involved on campus, which has made me feel like I have a voice at Alvernia,” he says. “In the process, I have gotten to know a lot of wonderful people, and I’m having a fun time.”
Elmarzouky hopes to continue to bridge the gap between Middle Eastern and American culture with his future career; he is majoring in criminal justice and plans to become an English/Arabic translator for a federal organization.
While Elmarzouky was growing up in Egypt, his father was living in Reading, Pa running his restaurants. Elmarzouky spent his summers visiting his father in the United States. This spring, Elmarzouky gave a presentation to students and faculty on Alvernia’s campus, in hopes of bringing a new viewpoint on Middle Eastern cuisine and culture.
Elmarzouky serves Alvernia’s campus as a Student Government Association (SGA) representative for the Black Student union/Ethnic Awareness Society, and he will be a resident assistant on campus next semester.