“My name is Ryan Michael Sutton and I’m here to help.” It’s the no-frills tagline that made Sutton stand out amid the pledge process for Alpha Kappa Psi and ultimately, epitomizes Sutton’s inherent selfless nature. At the time, the brothers of the professional business fraternity were already familiar with Sutton’s service-driven mission through his role as a Supplemental Instruction Leader, and his general reputation as someone others could depend on for academic support. The accounting major has earned the Dean’s List designation each term since enrolling at UM-Dearborn in 2017 and is the recipient of academic awards such as the William J. Branstrom Prize, James B. Angell Scholar designation, and Certificate of Success as an Emerging Leader. And he pays it forward outside of the classroom, too. Sutton is known to spend hours on end helping students to prepare for (and ace!) challenging exams. Here, he explains his drive to support fellow students in need.
Ryan, in his own words
On ways he’s given back. “In one particular case, someone who, at the time was taking accounting courses at Henry Ford College, realized they didn’t understand any of the material. So, every night for two weeks, I went to their place and for four hours, I would run them through the particular chapter they were going to take a test in. They managed to get As in both classes.”
On his mission to help. “I want to be helpful to people because I want them to be able to pursue their passions. In a way, their impact becomes part of my own impact. What they go on to do in life is something that I helped contribute to specifically. I’ve always struggled a little bit socially, but I am good academically. [Being social is] something that comes naturally to them, so I’m going to help them in a way that comes naturally to me.”
On being a Difference Maker. “Everyone has the capacity to help people in their own way. The thing that separates me is that I’m determined. I will stay up four hours a night for two weeks to help someone. I will go out of my way even though I have my own academic life to help someone with theirs. But I really think anyone can do what I’ve done. It’s just the difference between can doing it and doing it. It’s the little things that I did in my time here on campus that made me a Difference Maker. It really doesn’t have to be a huge extravagant thing, it can be something as small as just, helping out your neighbor, or helping someone pass a class, or being a good teammate. You can always be a Difference Maker. And it just means a lot to me to know that it doesn’t have to be a big thing.”