Armed Forces Champion
Dr Gus Ryrie, a lecturer in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, who served in the Regular and Reserve Army for a period of 20 years before following a second career in higher education, is LJMU’s Armed Forces Champion.
He was appointed to the role at the beginning of 2023 by Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Power.
Gus joined the Corps of Royal Engineers upon leaving school aged 16. He completed 11 years in the Regular Army, serving in the UK, Germany, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, the Falklands, and Australia, before leaving to undertake his initial HE studies. During this time, he continued to serve as an Army Reservist, alongside further postgraduate study, being deployed to Kosovo during this period and only finishing his military service to concentrate on his PhD and academic teaching role at LJMU.
“As a former member of the Armed Forces who transitioned into higher education, I am aware of some of the challenges and potential barriers that may be faced. Personally, it was asking myself, was I doing the right thing? Was I good enough? Did I have the ability to go back to university as a mature student? At times, it wasn’t a ‘simple transition’, therefore, it is important that we as an institution explore the ways in which we can support, guide and mentor veterans and reservists entering higher education, ensuring that they are able to reach their full potential.”
– Gus Ryrie, LJMU's Armed Forces Champion
Role of the Armed Forces Champion
Gus will drive forward the university’s opportunities for all student and staff veterans and reservists, and he will co-ordinate the cross-university Armed Forces Steering Group to enable them to support and champion the whole Armed Forces community.
“We as an institution can build on the current good work that happens across areas of the institution, develop consistent and clear practices, and provide support mechanisms and structures for staff and students in support of key areas already outlined in the Armed Forces Covenant. In addition, we can expand, explore and develop an integrated research portfolio aimed at supporting the wider veteran community, regionally, nationally and internationally.”
Gus added: “We are looking to attract colleagues and students from all parts of the university to be part of the steering group. Therefore, if you feel you could support this work in any way, or have some suggestions or questions, please get in touch.”
Get in touch with our Armed Forces Champion Gus Ryrie using the contact enquiry form below.
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