Leann Krysiak, an AmeriCorps VISTA member at Gannon’s Office of Service-Learning is new to the Gannon community. A wellness advocate, Leann will regularly share healthy-living tips that all college students can try – from natural beauty hacks to nutritious recipes to ways to refocus energy. Stay tuned!


1. First things first, who or what is your spirit animal?

Well, I have given this some thought, but now I really need to choose. I would say an owl because they are associated with wisdom and protection, and they are just really beautiful creatures.

2. What is your role at Gannon? When did you start here?

I’m the AmeriCorps VISTA in Service-Learning. I oversee the Gannon Goodwill Garden and started this past August.

3. Where did you go to college and what did you study while you were there?

I went to school downstate, literally. I went to Mercyhurst, which is right up the street from Gannon. I have my bachelor’s in Strategic Communication and a concentration in sustainability.

4. What were you involved with on campus at Mercyhurst?

Everything. I went to Mercyhurst North East before I went to the Erie campus, so between the two schools and my four years, I was pretty busy! I played soccer at Mercyhurst North East, was involved with Relay for Life for three years and I was a member of PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) for three years. I co-created and implemented the Fresh Face Forward campaign at Mercyhurst, was a member of the Sustainability Club for two years and was a Mercyhurst MUSCLE, which required 300 hours of service. And, on top of all of that, I was a copy editor for the school newspaper.

5. What skillz do you have?

I am a certified scuba diver. I can play the clarinet. I can burn chicken tenders in the microwave nine times out of 10.

6. What is your best piece of advice for current college students? What do you wish you’d known when you were a student?

Service-learning and volunteering are great ways to learn about different issues in society, but also to learn new skills and explore career opportunities.

7. How do you practice wellness while juggling a job and a social life?

Wellness is not separate from my life! Wellness is part of my life. It’s remembering to do the simple things – drinking more water, remembering to move around after sitting for long periods of time and keeping healthy snacks handy. But that also means finding balance. If I want a slice of pizza, I am going to have a slice of pizza.  I also schedule fitness into my week, otherwise I would use the excuse I’m too busy. Setting new fitness goals helps me stay motivated, so I am looking to master some awesome yoga poses and improving my 5K time.

8. Best thing about Gannon so far?

I love the fireplaces in Old Main.

9. Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds?

Ryan Reynolds; he’s funnier.

10. What can we look forward to reading in your feature?

I’ll be writing about sustainability, DIY beauty products and healthy living.


Leann’s tip of the week:

“Drink more water. Drink your half of your body weight in ounces. I weigh about 130 pounds, so I aim for 65 ounces a day.”