Cayley Ryan

I’m Cayley from Cary, NC. I come from a family of West Virginia coal miners, Korean immigrants, South African expatriates, and schoolteachers. My heritage is a bit all-over-the-place, but it’s OUR all-over-the-place, and I couldn’t be more thankful for their endless love and support. I am immeasurably grateful to now become a part of the Baldwin family, and I cannot wait to spend the next four years and beyond with these extraordinary, compassionate, ambitious, talented women.

In high school, I climbed mountains, played piano for musical theater, ran a tutoring organization, and pole vaulted on our track and field team. I am a fierce advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Here at Duke, I am so honored to be a Benjamin N. Duke Scholar, a member of the Honor Council, and involved with Habitat for Humanity and the Program in Education.

Since I’ve come to Duke, I’ve found that my deepest passion lies in the field of linguistics. It is the study of languages, but also the study of how we create ourselves, how we understand one another, and how we construct the world around us and the systems within it. Trying to understand with kindness is a value I hold close to my heart. I hope to double major in Linguistics and Cultural Anthropology in my time here, but I’m trying to keep my world wide open for the moment.

You can find me at least one day a week at the Durham Museum of Life and Sciences (come visit the Butterfly House!), watching The West Wing, or sprinting unsuccessfully after a departing C1 bus.

photo of Cayley Ryan