Alumni Spotlights are Q&A's with former Brandeis student-athletes, across a myriad of disciplines, as they reflect on their Brandeis experience and how it has shaped their lives today. Read more spotlight features here.
Name: Ryan Healy '16
Current job: Advocacy Manager at Feeding New York State
A native of Carlsbad, CA, Healy graduated from Brandeis in 2016 with a
After graduation, Healy remained in the Boston area for a brief period of time before moving to San Diego to work in the sales and financial services sector. Since then, he has been involved in multiple political campaigns leading up to the 2020 presidential election. Healy has years of experience in public policy, political organizing, and the nonprofit sector. In February of 2022, he started working as an Advocacy Manager with Feeding New York State, where he works on federal, state, and root cause advocacy to help build a hunger-free New York State.
What drew you to Brandeis in the first place?
I was drawn to Brandeis because of the university’s strong academic reputation and emphasis on social justice. After graduating high school in 2012, I originally attended Linfield College where I played baseball for Scott Brosius, former third-baseman for the New York Yankees and MVP of the 1998 World Series. We won the 2013 Division III National Championship, but I was becoming more passionate about social justice and international affairs so I applied to Brandeis as a transfer student.
For me, the opportunity to play college baseball, pursue my academic interests, and study in Boston – one of the world’s great intellectual environments – was a no-brainer.
Describe your overall experience as a student-athlete. What does it mean to you now/what did it mean to you while you were an undergraduate?
I loved my time as a student-athlete at Brandeis. As an undergraduate, I was often caught up in each day so I wasn’t reflecting much on what it meant to study at Brandeis. But in retrospect, the opportunity to play baseball every day and learn from the great faculty at Brandeis was deeply impactful for me. I cherish every moment.
How did your time as a student and student-athlete at Brandeis prepare you for your career and life after college?
My time as a student-athlete at Brandeis helped prepare me for life and my career after college in many ways. The obvious answer is I learned how to balance competing responsibilities; for example, it wasn’t easy to miss weeks of class at a time in Florida or traveling around the Northeast for games. But I also learned, at Brandeis, the importance of standing up for what you believe in – something I’ve carried with me since graduating.
Do you have any advice for current or future Brandeis Student-Athletes?
My advice is to take full advantage of Brandeis. Learn from the greatest minds in academia; find your passions on campus and dedicate yourself to them; work hard and hold yourself accountable to your team; and make the occasional trip into Boston. It’s a beautiful city with so much to offer.
Do you still keep in touch with any of your former Brandeis teammates?
Yes, it’s always great to catch up with former teammates! I’ve been a bit transient since graduating, so I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like. But I have friends from different classes, older and younger, so it’s nice to hear everything going on with them. In fact, I’m really excited to see one of my old Brandeis teammates get married later this year – it’s just wild how time flies.
What personal or professional accomplishment(s) are you most proud of since you graduated?
In terms of accomplishments, I’m very proud of the organizing work I undertook in 2018 and 2020. In particular, engaging with voters all across Virginia, Maine, New York, and Pennsylvania – each of the states where I worked in and led successful ballot access initiatives for former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s presidential campaign.
What drove you towards working in public health and advocacy?
I’ve always been passionate about a range of issues related to public health and social justice. For me, advocating on behalf of a just and equitable food system here in New York – one that establishes healthy food as a basic human right – is something I care deeply about.
The opportunity to push legislators, mobilize communities, and build coalitions around this simple vision feels like a career path only Brandeis could’ve prepared me for.