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Meet Ryan Kanine

  • Senior double majoring in graphic design and communication
  • Hometown: Shepherd, MI

"The tragedy in life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach." - Benjamin Mays

Senior graphic design and communication double major Ryan Kanine was originally “undecided” and thinking about elementary education. But when Ryan decided to participate in an Alternative Break program and created a video of the experience, he says he found a way of marrying his passion for helping with an academic program of study. A video about his Alternative Break trip to Tennessee can be seen on YouTube .

When Ryan returned to the Dominican Republic (site of another Alternative Break), he received an “OK” to create a documentary that qualified for an intercultural communications independent study. Ryan not only received credit for the documentary, but assistant professor of communication Diana Trebing was so impressed that she submitted the video to the National Communication Association Conference in San Diego where Ryan sat on a panel and discussed independent study abroad. The documentary also was submitted to the Central States Communication Conference in spring 2009 and Ryan received the “Top Student Short Documentary.”

Ryan has also been highly engaged in Student Association, both as a representative and in 2009-10 as the president. Each year, students from Saginaw Valley State University and Grand Valley State University compete in the “Battle of the Valleys” fundraising competition. This year, Kanine and the Student Association led SVSU's efforts, which raised $38,401 for the Boys & Girls Club of Saginaw County. He is pictured with thank you notes from some of the children the organization serves.

“Community service has really been a part of my college experience, and it’s one of the things I love about SVSU. Giving back is really a strong component of the SVSU experience.”