Salve Success: Graduate student from Barbados received two master’s degrees while in Newport
Ryan Alleyne ’21 (M.S.), an international student from Barbados, has done what many couldn’t pull off. He’s completed two master’s programs simultaneously—one at the Naval War College and other here at Salve Regina. And he did it all in one year.
Seizing the opportunity for education
In the island country of Barbados, Alleyne has had twenty-six years of active duty as a lieutenant commander for the Barbados Coast Guard. He was also a ship captain for nine years before transferring to the Barbados Defense Force, a military base which is responsible for 645 personnel.
The Naval War College here in Newport, Rhode Island, provides higher education for military officers both local and international students, and Alleyne came to Newport to take advantage of the educational opportunities provided by the college. He wanted to complete a master’s program in defense and strategic studies, but only ten international students are accepted into the program each year.
Alleyne applied, but he knew that there was a possibility he would not be accepted into the Naval War College program. Because the Naval War College also had an unique association with Salve Regina, Alleyne applied to the graduate department at Salve Regina to obtain a master’s in innovation and strategic management.
Amazingly, Alleyne got into both programs. He decided to embark on a journey to complete two graduate degrees at once, so he moved to Newport in 2020 and began a whirlwind adventure.
Using the education of two master’s degrees
Alleyne’s Naval War College degree in defense and strategic studies focuses on strategy and policies, joint military operations and leadership in the profession of arms.
“This allows me as a senior officer to now have tools to pull from for dealing with various issues in a military environment,” he explained.
Alleyne might make his way back to the U. S. to use his degree in Washington D.C, where he could serve as a defense liaison between Barbados and the U.S. Obtaining a master’s degree will amplify his military pedigree and open up opportunities that he wouldn’t otherwise have had.
Alleyne hopes to use his other master’s degree from Salve Regina after his retirement from the Barbados Coast Guard.
Salve Regina’s innovation and strategic management program emphasizes managerial decision making, problem solving, nonprofit management, organizational development, human resource management and organizational transformation. Alleyne stresses that the courses he took to complete this degree have helped him understand the true importance of decision making when it comes to managing in a variety of capacities.
“I know how to create a strategic mission, organizational structure, future forecasting for a sustainable, ethical … organization,” Alleyne said. “And these skills are especially helpful to learn during the pandemic, as this time has demanded a lot of change from organizations.”
Returning to life in Barbados
These skills from Salve Regina’s innovation and strategic management program are already coming in handy for the nonprofit organization that Alleyne’s family has founded in Barbados. The nonprofit, called Togetherness, is a community support group for those in need that offers items like gift baskets, school supplies and other help around the holidays.
“It is a program where we give back,” explained Alleyne. “It’s about looking out for each other through the community … to make everyone feel as if they are wanted and that they are not left out during the holidays.”
Alleyne tells a story of a family in Barbados whose house burned down in a fire. The Togetherness nonprofit collected food, furniture and other things the family needed to get back on their feet. Alleyne will now have all the necessary skills to help run and manage Togetherness due to his graduate degree.
Alleyne also recently participated in a ceremony that officially made Barbados a republic completely free of rule from the British Empire. The new republic of Barbados made international news, and Alleyne was even seen escorting Rihanna, who is originally from Barbados and was honored during the ceremony.
Alleyne explains that he never thought he would get a master’s degree, but now he has two. During this time, he has enjoyed Newport, traveled the world and learned so many things that he will continue to bring back to his beloved country. Alleyne draws inspiration from his military background and the motto they preach.
“Continue to strive to be excellent,” he said. “It takes determination and the will to not give up to pursue your goals and dreams.”
Article by student writer Anna Downes ’22
Salve Success is a series of student success stories periodically featured on SALVEtoday. Check out the tag Salve Success for more stories.