Ryan Wersal ’26

Social Studies Education Major
Posted on February 15th, 2023 by

“The Education Department is a small, close-knit community made of people who share one big thing in common. Rule number 1 to be in the Education Department; you need to have a love for kids.”

Ryan’s interest in teaching was born through his experience as a camp counselor over the summer where he discovered his love for working with kids.

Ryan describes this love for kids as the “one big thing” that unifies the Gustavus Education Department. Like all education majors, Ryan participated in the “Orientation to Teaching” J-term course during his freshman year which he describes as “the most exciting and useful experience in the department.” Students enrolled in this course get to shadow a teacher for two weeks, getting a taste of what happens behind the scenes in a classroom and even teaching a lesson or two.

In addition to this hands-on experience, Ryan is grateful for the “close-knit” community he has found within his department. Professors are dedicated to ensuring their student’s success, even after college. Ryan explains, “They provide us with field experience and recommend other activities or jobs we could take up to help prepare ourselves for the future.” Ryan is particularly close with Professor Ortman who he finds “Fosters a sense of community among the students in her class” while also providing “the best opportunities for getting to know fellow students and future educators.”

The Education Department wasn’t the only thing that drew Ryan to Gustavus though. Ryan is involved in Ultimate Frisbee, serves as the secretary of Game Club, and has a campus job at the Campus Activities Office.


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