Specialist, Student Recruitment

About Riyanna Coleman

As a member of the recruitment team at Harris Public Policy, Riyanna Coleman is the first point of contact for prospective students. Riyanna answers questions, provides informational materials, and welcomes prospective students to campus events by phone, email, and in person. In addition, Riyanna also provides support for the Harris team by managing travel arrangements and inventory of the department’s promotional and informational material.

Riyanna has been teaching, coaching, and inspiring young people since 2015 as part of AmeriCorps. From 2015 until 2017, Riyanna was a Family Engagement Advocate in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at Early Learning Indiana/Kiddie Prep School. For the past year she has served as Community Engaged Scholarship Coordinator in the department of Community Partnerships at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. Prior to Riyanna’s service with AmeriCorps, she worked for a company that used the concepts and framework of Lego to teach STEM concepts to children, youth, and young adults.

Riyanna completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and Psychology at Indiana Institute of Technology in 2018.

“I’ve always questioned ‘the norm’ and carefully analyzed and critiqued situations that did not make sense to me. The fact that Harris promotes the same concept to their students is amazing. I love being part of a place that not only encourages students to challenge the status quo, but also provides them with the necessary tools to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to a wide range of social issues.”

Get to Know Riyanna

What are your hobbies?

Writing poetry and preparing vegan recipes. 

What's your favorite spot in Hyde Park?

I really enjoy walking by 55th Street and Lake Park Avenue and looking at the murals under the viaduct. They were created originally as part of the public art movement of the late 1960s and they add a historic but still contemporary touch to Hyde Park.

What's your favorite book?

My favorite book is Sister Citizen. It’s created a bold, beautiful, and fearless platform for many African American women around the world.

Share something surprising about yourself.

I love making natural skin-care recipes.

Who is your favorite hero?

Langston Hughes. He’s an amazingly accessible poet whose work created hope and provided inspiration for many people, including myself. He’s been a favorite of mine since I was six or seven and fell in love with his poem “Dreams.” Ever since then, this poem has been a source of motivation for me. 

Tell us about three of your favorite things:

  • Amazing Interiors and Family Feud.
  • Track and field events. I’m a huge track and field junkie and ran track myself for more than six years.
  • In Chicago my favorite thing to do is explore the different restaurants and clothing boutiques.