Written by Jen Merry
Ryan Alu is an ambitious student. In high school, Ryan maintained a 4.2 grade point average and took thirteen Advanced Placement tests earning him enough credits to take on a triple major at SFU and still graduate within four years. The Center for Academic Success works with incoming Freshmen to make sure they are getting the most out of their college education. Dr. Renee Bernard, Associate Dean of Instruction at the Center, recalled her first meeting with Ryan to discuss his course load. "Ryan came to me during orientation on his own initiative. Some freshmen coming in with credits will choose to graduate early or add on additional majors and minors to make them more marketable in their career search. We want to make sure we are working closely with them every step of the way in their journey to 'Become that Someone,'" says Dr. Bernard. Ryan appreciates the effort the faculty and staff have taken to make sure he succeeds. He says, “The sheer amount of care and the flexibility of the curriculum is giving me a huge advantage, and preparing me for success.”
Ryan chose to triple major in Computer Science (Software Development Concentration), CyberSecurity Administration, and Mathematics. Computer Science was an obvious choice because of his love for video games. “I’m a huge gamer, and as a kid I would spend countless hours searching for little defects in the game, expose them and be entertained as results unintended by the developers would play out on the screen.” He figured Software Development will give him the knowledge of the development of video games, while CyberSecurity will give him the knowledge of how games become glitched and hacked. As for Math, he always had a knack for the subject and enjoys problem solving.
Ryan Alu’s high school volleyball coach called him a team player. “He has always done what was needed to benefit the team” said Central Bucks West coach Rick Fehrs. When SFU Volleyball Coach Mike Rumbaugh gave Ryan a call to join the RedFlash, Ryan jumped at the opportunity to play volleyball for a NCAA Division I team. He says, “One of my life long dreams was to play volleyball on a Division I team. I was ecstatic to get the recruitment call.”
In addition to being a triple major and member of the men’s volleyball team, Ryan is also very involved in many other on-campus activities. He’s a member of the Honors Program, Gaming Club, Troubadour (school newspaper), Enactus, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He’s also one of the school’s mascots, the 2021 class vice president and he participates in math competitions. Lastly, he has a fellowship with CSOR where he researches occupational regulations, and has an internship with Fresh Prints selling custom apparel. When asked how he juggles it all he says, “There’s no such thing as not enough time. I find time in between classes, early in the morning or on the weekends to work. But, I do make sure not to work myself to death, and take breaks to spend time with friends.”
After graduating, Ryan hopes to work for video game companies such as Naughty Dog or Insomniac Games. “These companies made the games of my childhood. If I could land a job with them, it would be a dream come true.”