The Founders Society Spotlight: Ryan Mackler, 2017

Ryan Mackler, 2017
Crooms Affiliation: Alumni
Founders Class:
  • Class 3 - FY2021-2022
Crooms Graduating Year:

An Interview with The Founders Society member Ryan Mackler, Class of 2017

Question 1: Can you tell us a little bit about what your career and personal life looks like these days?
Having only graduated [college] in 2021, I'm still working to define my career. I spent the first year after graduating in Washington, D.C., researching and writing about domestic and international energy policy laws, regulations, and similar topics. However, as of September 2022, I'm living in Amman, Jordan. I'll be in Amman until the end of June 2023 teaching English under the Fulbright Program, the premier cultural exchange program sponsored by the US government. As a happy coincidence, my host institution, the Ammon Applied University College, is very similar to Crooms. It has a vocational focus, except instead of information technology, AAUC focuses on hospitality and tourism. My students even wear uniforms. Similar to Crooms, AAUC also pushes a wide-ranging internship program that exposes students to Amman's 4 and 5-star hotel industry. Under the internship program, students can even come work in the US under a partnership with the American Hospitality Academy.

As I'm living abroad, it's interesting to talk about my personal life. I'm very grateful that my fellow Fulbrighters all live close to me in Amman, and as a cohort, we are quite close. My Jordanian colleagues at AAUC have been incredibly welcoming and it has been great to reconnect with old Jordanian friends and make new ones. Living abroad does come with its own challenges for one's personal life. I miss my family and American friends terribly, and an 8-hour time difference doesn't always make it easy to keep in contact with them.

Question 2: Why did you choose to support the AoIT Alumni Association?
I'd long been waiting for the time when I could give back to Crooms in some way, and now that I am out of college with a decent job, the timing is perfect. The AoIT scholarships are a great opportunity for hard-working Croomies, and I'm glad I could contribute to them. It didn't hurt that the AoIT Alumni Association was offering a deal where I could contribute to the Alumni Panther Walk and join the Founders' Society at the same time.

Question 3: Looking back, what did you enjoy most about Crooms AoIT?
I enjoyed the small community as compared to some of Seminole County's other high schools. The teachers at Crooms truly get to know their students, and I'm still in contact with some of my old teachers today. Moreover, I appreciated all the opportunities that Crooms set up that helped prepare me for the professional world. I took the professional skills I gained from the Student Ambassadors and Business Professionals of America (among other clubs) to Washington, where they helped me secure four internships (including two with the US Department of State). I also used my Croomie tech skills all four years of college where I worked as a paid web development assistant.

Question 4: What does the next 3-5 years look like for you?
Excellent question. I wish I had a good answer. On a professional level, Fulbright is in part a test-run for me to see if I would enjoy the lifestyle of a foreign service officer - the diplomats who man our American embassies around the world. However, the process to become an FSO is long and competitive. In the interim, I'm also looking at grad schools and deciding whether or not I want to return to DC or try and other work abroad. There are always more fellowships to apply for!

Question 5: Any advice you would give to current Croomies?
Take advantage of all the opportunities that Crooms offers you, especially the professional support. Also, thank your teachers. I never truly realized how much work they did until I started teaching here in Amman, and they are putting in much more work than I am.

Updated: December 1, 2022

The Founders Society was established in 2011 to recognize the Crooms AoIT Alumni Association's most generous benefactors. These individuals, couples, or companies have made significant one-time contributions during our capital fundraising periods for the advancement of Crooms AoIT. Society members are sending a message that philanthropic support of Crooms AoIT and the current student body is vital to our alma mater's future success. Their financial support is changing lives and helps promote a culture of community support and involvement. To learn more about The Founders Society visit

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