After graduating from CUA, Jackie Ryall earned a J.D. at Georgetown Law Center. At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she has worked since 2009, she advises the U.S.Program, Communications, and Global Advocacy and Policy teams on a wide range of legal issues, including digital media, data privacy, software/courseware, and educational technology issues with a focus on ensuring the affordability and accessibility of products and services through intellectual property rights (Global Access).
“Our objective is to support innovative education solutions that can improve our public schools and prepare all students for success in college and career. The data we work with shows the incredible value that an education can have on providing a path out of poverty. Looking back, I am grateful for the education I received at Catholic.”
Jackie credits her major for shaping her worldview through understanding historical context, and for sharpening her critical reading and writing. “I remember struggling to think critically about authors’ purpose, tone, and point of view in writing about events, rather than accepting an interpretation of events as fact. I was pushed in Junior Seminar to write a paper a week, an assignment that seemed incredibly challenging then. These writing assignments were designed to help me write effectively and persuasively. And they worked! That I could receive an ‘F’ on a paper for using a run-on sentence still sticks with me today – a lesson well learned.
“Being a history major at Catholic University was a pivotal experience for me in terms of my future education and career path.”