Ryan Sharkey ‘12

Alumni Spotlight

Ryan Sharkey '12

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care

Ryan Sharkey graduated from Gannon University with his Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care in 2012. He attributes many of the accomplishments that he has made throughout his personal and professional life to the experiences that he gained as a student at Gannon. 

Ryan is currently a practicing Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Therapist at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital. His love and passion for his field led him to further his education by receiving his Master of Science in Respiratory Care Leadership in 2015 from Northeastern University. 

Ryan found that the Gannon Mission has remained with him throughout his life. “Gannon is a welcoming environment to students of many nationalities and creates a culturally diverse atmosphere. When I was offered the opportunity to spend a week providing medical care to the people of Haiti, I jumped at the chance to further my pursuit of service to others.” Ryan also spent three weeks in China where he presented lectures and simulations to other respiratory therapists and physicians. This allowed for collaboration and assistance with advancements in China’s respiratory care field. “Without the introduction to culture and service that Gannon provided, I would have been hesitant to embark on these opportunities and would have missed out on some amazing experiences.” 

He had several professors that he looked up to while at Gannon and Dr. Kozak was one of his favorites. He had such passion for teaching and politics, passing on a wealth of wisdom to his students. While his classes may not have been directly related to Ryan’s field of study, they have certainly assisted in his professional development.  Ryan was able to attain the critical thinking skills and edge needed to secure a successful career. 

Ryan also participated in Gannon University’s Hockey Club during his college career, an activity he still enjoys today. Ryan enjoys reading and researching articles while developing his own research projects.  He resides in Waynesboro, VA and is engaged to be married in May, 2017. When not spending time wedding planning with his fiancée, he enjoys time spent with his boxer puppy, Kessel. 

His advice to future and current respiratory care students is: “Find a mentor as soon as you can. I'm grateful to have a mentor who has pushed me to always be better. Finding someone who will encourage you in your professional growth is a great career move that will help you to succeed after graduation.” 

(published January 2017)

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Gannon is a Catholic, Diocesan University dedicated to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Our faculty and staff prepare students to be global citizens through programs grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and professional specializations. Inspired by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, we offer a comprehensive, values-centered learning experience that emphasizes faith, leadership, inclusiveness and social responsibility.