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Ryan Donnelly


Ryan is a senior transfer student from Chicago, Illinois. He is a health science major with an emphasis in rehabilitation sciences. Ryan currently is on the path to graduate school and pursuing his dream career as an occupational therapist. 

“I chose the School of Health Professions at Mizzou because I met a lot of like-minded people who wanted to make a change for the future and I know I can successfully do so with the staff of this college,” Ryan says. “It is unreal the amount of honesty and respect they give students here alongside with their hard work to help every student succeed in what they want to do here at Mizzou.”

In addition to serving on as a School of Health Professions student ambassador, Ryan is involved in Phi Sigma Pi Honors fraternity, the Pre-Occupational Therapy club, Mizzou Skydive, and Table Tennis Club.

What made you choose Mizzou?

I chose Mizzou because of the gut feeling I got the moment I visited. When you’re a student studying at one university and looking to transfer to another, it can be tough to figure out what is the right fit for you and your needs. As I was going through scheduling visits at several universities, MU happened to be the first opening. As I said, I had many visits planned and scheduled but I canceled all of them once I got on Mizzou’s campus. It’s my second year here and I don’t have even one drop of regret from my choice. It sounds cliché, but I just knew Mizzou was the one.

How did you choose your major?

I’m very interested in mental health, rehabilitation, and human connection. I believe occupational therapy has all of those components within it, which made it a great choice for me.

What’s your favorite Mizzou club/organization?

I am currently the Vice President of POTA (Pre OT Association) and I take great pride in that club and what we do for the community of Columbia in terms of service.

What’s your favorite Mizzou dining hall?

Plaza 900 or any of the restaurants in the student center!

If you could have dinner with one famous Mizzou alum, who would it be and why?

Brad Pitt dropped out with only 3 credits left to graduate….still counts as alum in my opinion! I believe he’s been through a unique way of life and to hear his favorite experiences throughout his years spent in the spotlight would be amazing.

Why did you choose your major?

My career path is in rehabilitation and I am striving to get into occupational therapy school at the moment. I chose this major because I wanted to have a connection with my patients first hand and strive for them to live a better life. Working within the health care system is a privilege and getting to see where your hard work goes towards is a really wholesome experience.

Why should students choose Mizzou?

This place I call home is beyond just a university, it houses so much more to it. This is an energetic college town with a family feel because people genuinely care for you and want to see you succeed. There are unlimited resources here to make sure you succeed in what you want to do.  There are hundreds of programs to find your perfect major, and there are hundreds of student organizations and opportunities for anyone to move forward and have fun. If you want MORE then Mizzou has it!