Meet Jacksonville CP Melissa Ryan

It’s summertime and the students are hot. So, why don’t we stick with the sunshine, heat and humidity motif that is the great Sunshine State of Florida in our ongoing series we like to call, “Meet Your Campus Presidents?”

Today, we’re heading to the northeast corner of the state to Jacksonville to meet our Concorde Career Institute – Jacksonville Campus President (CP) Melissa Ryan. Ryan said she didn’t expect her college background in computer science to lead to a career in higher education, but that’s exactly what it did, taking her first to the northeastern U.S. before heading south to the sand and surf of Florida.

Let’s read on and learn more about what makes our Jacksonville CP tick, from her love of students, to her love of scary movies and origins as a physical therapy major.

What’s been your journey to becoming a Concorde CP?

I’ve been in education since 1988 and spent the first 15 years of my career at Boston University in a variety of positions, from IT support to eventually running the Corporate Education Center and its five locations. I’ve since worked as the Vice President/General Manager of New Horizons Learning Centers of Boston, Regional Executive Director-Massachusetts for Lincoln Educational Services and then moved my family here to Florida. I joined Concorde six years ago.

What’s been the best part about being a Campus President?

By far, it is being able to change lives. Seeing our students achieve their dreams and walk across the stage makes every day worth it.

What is it that makes the Jacksonville campus stand out for its students?

Our team. The majority of the Jax team has been with Concorde for more than five years each. They are here because they love our students and our campus. We are also well connected to our community.

What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given?

Do the right thing. Having the best interests of the students and Concorde never leads you down the wrong path.

What’s a favorite TV show, recent movie you’ve seen or book you’ve read?

I love a good scary movie about hauntings. I just saw the Conjuring 2. Should I admit this?!

What is a hidden talent, favorite hobby or little-known fact people don’t know about you?

I come from a long line of educators and started my college years as a physical therapy major only to end up in computer science, thinking that I would not have a career in education. Yet, that is exactly where I landed.

 

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Davina Thomas-Clark | Medical Assistant, Vocational Nurse graduate

“I have taken the MA program and the LVN program. Concorde is a wonderful school. There is a difference between passion and a paycheck, and most of my instructors had a passion for what they do. The program was challenging but well worth it. I love this college!”

Kontessa Brown | Dental Assisting Graduate

“I think it’s an amazing school. When I sat down for boards, I felt more than adequately prepared. If you put the work in, your success is almost guaranteed.”

Jamie Troccoli | Medical Assistant graduate

“I am eternally grateful to Dr. Lu-Ping Gamble at the Garden Grove campus. They not only lit a spark, they lit a torch in my heart that shall burn forever! My education changed my life and has had a huge positive impact on the person I am today.”

Marcus Streator | Respiratory Therapy graduate

“Without the support of certain instructors … I would not have pushed myself to grasp the concepts and pass my boards on the first attempt. Once I passed my boards, it was less than one month after that I landed my first Respiratory Therapist job where I am currently working with so much joy every day.”

Trenisha Jones | Dental Assistant Graduate

“I decided to go to school because I was tired of working dead-end jobs. … When I found out I was pregnant, I realized that I needed a better life for me, for my child, for my husband, and just to better myself.”