headshot of Ryan Gray
Ryan Gray

The Office of the Provost named Director of Student Services Ryan Gray the winner of the Stan and Sandy Rives Excellence in Undergraduate Education Award. 

Gray received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State University. He has over 20 years’ experience in higher education focused on student services and academic advising. During his practicum in the College Student Personnel Administration program, he assisted students at University College. After graduating, he worked for the University of Illinois and the Illinois Articulation Initiative prior to returning to Illinois State University as an academic advisor in 2007 in the Department of English. In 2014, he joined sociology and anthropology as director of student services. In that capacity, he advises more than 500 undergraduate majors and minors. In this role, he also manages the internship experience for over 80 students each year. He coordinates independent studies and manages the honors program for the department. Additionally, he works with alumni and department connections to facilitate various newsletters, events, and special programs. 

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology Chair Joan Brehm noted, “his engagement with all of our majors and minors through their entire program gives him a unique perspective on their progress and their challenges.” 

In addition to advising, Gray teaches SOC/ANT 292, a careers course for all majors in the department which helps prepare students for life beyond the University and helps to socialize them to professions in both sociology and anthropology. Gray is committed to the undergraduate experience and has also been involved with “first year experience” courses at Illinois State for many years.