Family man and former restaurateur Ryan Tracey is set to further his education at Wayne State University (WSU) in the upcoming semester, leveraging the new pathway between WSU and St. Clair College.
Tracey enjoyed success in the restaurant scene of Hamilton, Ontario for three years until COVID-19 left its indelible mark on his plans, leading to the forced closure of that chapter.
"I grew up in Windsor, and I moved to the Greater Toronto Area in my early twenties to pursue a career in the hospitality industry and gain the experience necessary to open a restaurant of my own," Tracey said. "My partners and I opened a restaurant in Hamilton in 2016. I decided to move back home to Windsor and focus on building a more balanced family life with my wife and newborn. After the world slowed down in 2020, it forced a deep look at what was going to come out on the other side and how I could position my family for a better future."
Despite being deeply entrenched in the hospitality industry, Tracey's mathematical and technical inclination never left him. In fact, his success with figures led him to enroll in the Mechanical Engineering Technology – Automotive Product Design Program at St. Clair College, from which he recently graduated and received the Board of Governors medal, an honour awarded to one graduate each year who has demonstrated the most outstanding academic achievement in a one-, two- or three-year Program.
The newly announced pathway between St. Clair College and WSU ignited a spark of excitement within Tracey and he could not help but envision the continuation his future in engineering.
"The goal was to work in the states, and this new agreement presented a direct path to accomplish that goal," Tracey said. "The co-op I completed at St. Clair was one of the main reasons I wanted to pursue this degree. As a student at Wayne State University, I'll have the opportunity to explore more internship and co-op opportunities in the American job market that weren't available without being a student in the states."
Tracey enrolled at WSU only a few weeks ago and has already made connections with advisors and the recruitment team. His ambitions extend beyond the immediate future, with plans to secure a position next summer that could potentially pave the way for pursuing a graduate degree.
Tracey expressed gratitude for the support received from Jessica Hoffmeyer and the Transfer team at WSU, who invested their time to guide and assist with the immigration and visa processes. Similarly, he commended the efforts of St. Clair College including Dale Haggith, Program Coordinator and Faculty in Mechanical Engineering Technology – Automotive Product Design and John Byng, Chair of Engineering Technologies, emphasizing their commitment to supporting students by organizing extra classes to ensure the fulfillment of transfer agreement requirements. Ultimately, Tracey emphasized the reassuring feeling of having both institutions actively working to facilitate his smooth transition.
The partnership with WSU is more than a collaboration between institutions; it is a bridge between two countries and a connection between two iconic cities – Detroit and Windsor. The academic initiative is not just about degrees; it is about building a foundation for the next generation of engineers who will drive innovation and progress in the automotive industry.
As the first cohort of students embark on this pioneering pathway, the partnership between St. Clair College and WSU continues to flourish. The story of Tracey is a testament to the power of collaboration, education, and the boundless opportunities that lie at the intersection of ambition and innovation beyond geographical borders.
To learn more about St. Clair College's pathways visit https://www.stclaircollege.ca/programs/credit-transfer-pathway-agreements.
To learn more about Wayne State University pathways visit https://wayne.edu/transfer/pathway/st-clair-college-engineering-bs