Ryan Family Navigators Program

Historic Gift Creates Scholarship and Support Program

Ryan Family with Scholars and TC Leadership

A $1.45 million commitment from a Ball State University alumna, Michelle Ryan, and her husband Jim Ryan, represents the largest single gift in the history of Teachers College.

Learn more.

Michelle and Jim Ryan have established the Michelle A. and James T. Ryan Family Scholarship and the Ryan Family Navigators Program. These initiatives assist students from diverse and economically challenged backgrounds by providing financial assistance and comprehensive student support services to them.

Ryan Family Scholars

The Michelle A. and James T. Ryan Family Scholarship cover all costs—including tuition, fees, and room and board—for approximately 16 Ryan Scholars over the next seven years. The Michelle A. and James T. Ryan Family Scholarship recipients are selected based on criteria established by the Ryan family in conjunction with Ball State Teachers College.

The current cohort of Ryan Family Scholars:

  • Amaree Burks -Teaching Major, Early Childhood Education
  • Jalen D. Chandler - Teaching Major, Social Studies
  • Isabella (Izzy) Fuentes - Music Education Major – Choral and Band
  • Jamie Johnson-Harris - Dual Elementary Education/Special Education, Exceptional Needs Major
  • Isaiah Kimp - Teaching Major, Social Studies
  • Claire Laffin - Teaching Major, English/Language Arts
  • Anaiah Lee - Dual Elementary Education/Special Education, Exceptional Needs Major
  • Nyreeja Patterson - Teaching Major, Early Childhood Education
  • Jaxsin Tucker - Teaching Major, English/Language Arts
  • Josselline Valdez Salinas - Teaching Major, Elementary Education
  • Bryan (Alex) Vivas - Teaching Major, English/Language Arts
 Cohort of Ryan Family Scholars


Ryan Family Navigator Program

In conjunction with The Michelle A. and James T. Ryan Family Scholarship, The Ryan Family Navigators Program serves as a hub for student support and provides comprehensive student services to all teaching majors, particularly those who are the first in their family to attend college and/or they have financially challenging backgrounds.

Current Services Offered:
  • Student Success Coaching
  • Academic, Career, and Personal Development Workshops
  • Campus Resource Navigational Support

Students, faculty, and advisors should use the Ryan Family Navigators Referral Link to connect with program staff for services.

Ryan Family Navigator Program Staff

 John Anderson Profile Photo

Dr. John W. Anderson Jr. is the inaugural Director of the Ryan Family Navigator Program, as well as a faculty member in the Department of Sociology. He earned a master’s degree in Sociology from Ball State in 2016, and an EdD in Adult and Community Education from Teachers College in 2021.

 Rebecca Gold Profile Photo

Rebecca Gold is a Doctoral Assistant working with the Ryan Family Navigator Program. She is a student in the Educational Psychology PhD program.