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For Students

Ryan Fellows

Ryan Fellows are a student-led group dedicated to free and open discussion of contemporary political issues, political philosophy, statesmanship, and the history & principles of American government.  This group is supported by the Ryan Center and represents a core group of students who uphold the Center’s non-partisan and intellectually diverse mission to “promote inquiry into the principles and processes of free government and seek to advance understanding of the responsibilities of statesmen and citizens of constitutional democratic societies.”

Special opportunities available to Ryan Fellows include:

  • -Wednesday Discussions, "Debate America" – Our weekly student-organized and student-led discussions encourage open and frank discussion of controversial political issues, welcoming a variety of perspectives. These are open to Villanova’s entire undergraduate student body, but Fellows have priority for choosing topics and leading discussions.
  • -Priority Invitations: Speaker Events – The Ryan Center brings a variety of speakers to campus each semester. While speakers typically deliver public lectures as part of their visit, there are often chances for more personal interaction when they visit through smaller gatherings, such as catered lunches or guest seminars. Space is limited for these opportunities, and invitations are extended first to Fellows.
  • -Priority Registration: Ryan Center Student Conference – The Ryan Center sponsors an annual student conference, organized by Ryan Center Faculty Associates.  It entails a single-day, on-campus discussion of a foundational American political text among students and faculty. It includes a catered lunch on campus and a group dinner off campus. Invitations to participate are first  extended to Ryan Fellows.
  • -Priority Invitations: Special Events- The Ryan Center will often sponsor student attendance at events planned on or off campus that will further the Center’s mission. For example, the center sponsored a small group of students to attend Justice Gorsuch’s speaking engagement in downtown Philadelphia in fall 2019. Invitations to special events on-campus, in Philadelphia, or elsewhere are extended first to Ryan Fellows.
  • -Recommendations for internship programs- The Ryan Center and its Faculty Associates have established relationships with dynamic internship and scholarship programs. As Ryan Fellows participate in events, they become better known by Faculty Associates, who are then able to recommend them to a variety of opportunities across the country.
  • -Bringing Guest Speakers to Campus- Ryan Fellows will have the opportunity to work with Ryan Center faculty to plan a public lecture and host a guest speaker on campus for spring 2021.
  • -Find Kindred Spirits on Campus- Being a Ryan Fellow provides the opportunity to interact with Ryan Scholars and Visiting Fellows who are experts in American politics and political philosophy. And, of course, you’ll be associating with fellow students who are also looking for meaningful discussions on politics and the public good.