Name: Gillian Ronayne
Hometown: Marlton, N.J.
Year in School: Junior
Gillian Ronayne is a confident, proud feminist who came to Coastal to take advantage of the small class sizes and beautiful weather. The junior psychology major from Marlton, N.J., made sure to bring her philanthropic and accepting ways with her, immediately endearing herself to the CCU community.
“I think it is awesome to have self-love and to just be who you are,” Gillian explains about her life outlook, “because you are only ever going to be you.”
A member of Sigma Sigma Sigma, Gillian beams about accepting her bid to the sorority, saying “it was really exciting to have one sister and then within an hour I had gained 100 more sisters.” Gillian’s enthusiasm level also peaks when discussing her involvement with Reading Buddies, a program that sends her to Myrtle Beach Elementary to work with students on reading skills. She describes both her sorority and Reading Buddies as opportunities to “be part of something bigger.”
Gillian will enjoy another larger than life experience when she travels abroad next month. Heading to Costa Rica for a Maymester course, Gillian is looking forward to embarking on excursions and improving her Spanish skills. Needless to say, it will be another special moment in her Coastal career.
“CCU has had a positive impact on me because it has shown me how to grow up and become my own person,” describes Gillian about her Coastal experiences. “Moving from New Jersey to South Carolina has really helped me flourish and become an adult.”
Upon graduation, Gillian has plans to move back to New Jersey and earn advanced degrees. When she settles into a career, it will most likely revolve around helping others. We wish Gillian the best of luck on final exams and we look forward to seeing her on campus next fall as she continues to empower and inspire.
Q&A with Gillian
How did you hear about Coastal?: A family friend came to Coastal and raved about how amazing it was and he really captured my interest.
Why did you come to Coastal?: I came to Coastal because the campus was so beautiful with all the palm trees and warm weather and it was a big plus that it was close to the beach. I really like how small and personal the classes were so I was really excited when I was accepted.
Favorite professor: My favorite professor is Professor Caryn Cortez. She taught my Spanish 115 class and she was so enthusiastic about the culture and always made class fun. We danced one day in class and she is the reason I am going to study abroad in Costa Rica this May.
Favorite class: My favorite class was my creative writing class. I love English and it was really fun to be able to write short poems and short stories and just really get creative with it and express yourself.
Favorite aspect of Coastal?: My favorite aspect of Coastal is all of the activity on Prince Lawn. I love being able to come to campus and see smiling familiar faces promoting their causes and clubs. It really gets me excited to come to campus each day.
Favorite aspect of living in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area?: My favorite aspect of living in Myrtle Beach is the food. I am from New Jersey and there's nothing like home cooking but Southern food is so amazing.
Clubs/Intramurals/other extracurricular activities involved in?: I am currently involved in Sigma Sigma Sigma, serving as the head of our Ritual. I love working with our philanthropy events and doing all the community service events, it feels great to be a part of something that gives back to the community so much.
Do you work anywhere currently (either on or off campus)?: I work at a nightclub at Broadway at the Beach.
Plans after graduation?: After graduation I plan to move back home to New Jersey and live with my family while I earn my master’s degree and PsyD.
What are your hobbies?: I really like to read in my free time. I also enjoy gardening, I have about ten plants on my window sill that I paint pots for and take care of. I also do a good amount of community service. At home I am part of Angel Tree which is an organization that gets people together and buys gifts for children who have incarcerated parents. I also work with Feeding 5000 which is an organization that prepares food and then serves it to the homeless of Philadelphia. Here in South Carolina I do Reading Buddies which is where I have a mentee and I help him better his reading.
Do you have any hidden talents?: I have really old lady-like hobbies! Not a lot of people know that I can needle point and I can make my tongue into a clover.
Bonus Info: I am a huge feminist and I love empowering other women to become more confident in their image and their everyday life.