From Athletics to Artistry
After a major injury, Ryan Geier turned to Tri-C to help with career switch
Have you ever seen one of those live action sports shows where the riders perform stunts on bikes, scooters and skates? For a long time, that was Ryan Geier’s life. Throughout his high school years, he traveled all over the country competing and performing in showcases as a freestyle scooter rider.
“I did a lot of showcases in Richmond, Virginia, for Cedar Fair Entertainment,” Geier said. “I traveled so much that I didn’t even graduate. I got my GED when I was 19.”
Geier, 26, grew up in the Cleveland area, but his family moved around a lot throughout the city and neighboring suburbs. He was on a unique career path until everything changed in 2018.
“I was at a photoshoot and came down on my knee, and it went backward,” he said. “I got into building computers during my recovery time. After that I said, ‘Let’s just go to college.’”
Geier began taking classes at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) in 2019, majoring in visual communication and design. This fall, he will graduate with an Associate of Arts degree.
“I went to Tri-C because it’s local,” Geier said. “Compared to somewhere like Kent or Akron, it’s pretty easygoing. Everyone has been super friendly.”
While taking classes, Geier began working for batteryPOP — a safe video site for kids created by two former Nickelodeon employees. He runs his own shows and livestreams them.
“The co-owners were excited that I knew a lot, and they were impressed with my experience,” he said. “I’m so busy with work that I’m going to take a year off to relax my head before I go back to school.”
Geier plans to continue his studies at either Kent State University or The University of Akron, both of which offer excellent programs in game design.
“I’m still using what I learned at Tri-C in my job,” Geier said. “All of the art classes like photography, digital imaging, 2D and 3D animation are all very useful. I use that knowledge every day.”
When asked what advice he could give to another student pursuing a similar degree, he jumped at the chance to share his thoughts.
“I was just taking about this with Angela [Berlingeri],” he said. “Any time a professor shows you a YouTube video, create your own personal playlist. That way, you can always come back to it later.”
Geier is definitely someone to keep an eye out for in the future. If his batteryPOP show gets picked up, he could be looking at a move to New York City.
“I like working as an independent contractor, and I just bought a house in Parma,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to move, but we’ll see what happens. I’m open.”
Cuyahoga Community College will celebrate the academic achievements of its newest graduates during commencement on Dec. 16 at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland. Check our News and Events page leading up to the event for more highlights of the Class of 2021.
December 11, 2021
By Madeline Shepherd, 216-987-4616 firstname.lastname@example.org