Wesleyan portrait of Sarah  Ryan

Sarah Ryan

Associate Professor of the Practice in Oral Communication

Fisk Hall, 114


BA Capital University
JD Quinnipiac University
MLS Texas Womans University
PHD Ohio University

Sarah Ryan

Bio: Sarah Ryan is an inter-disciplinary scholar and attorney whose research explores civic participation, criminal justice reform, and public deliberation. Sarah is the co-editor of Dialogues across Diasporas: Women Writers, Scholars, and Activists of Africana and Latina Descent in Conversation (Lexington Books, 2012) and author of more than 40 articles and chapters. She is a founding board member of the international journal Energy Research & Social Science. Her current research focuses on federal sentencing reforms, see, Judicial Authority Under the First Step Act (fall 2020, Loyola U. Chicago Law Journal), and the identity-presentation strategies of transgender plaintiffs. 

Sarah has taught at public and private universities in the U.S. and abroad. At Yale Law School, she served as the nation's first Empirical Legal Research librarian, taught research study design, and served on the university’s socio-behavioral Institutional Review Board (I.R.B.). At the City University of New York (Baruch College), she was Interim Director of Women’s Studies, Assistant Professor in the School of Public Affairs, and a learning communities advisor. At the University of Texas at El Paso, Sarah was founder of the faculty's Africa Working Group, faculty coordinator for the Philippines site of the UTEP-RARE Conservation master’s program, Assistant Professor of Communication, and recipient of the Rainbow Miners faculty leadership award.

Sarah joined the Wesleyan faculty after clerking for the Honorable Victor A. Bolden (federal District of Connecticut). Prior to that, she worked as a staff attorney at the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center and assisted New Haven residents with pro se divorces and temporary restraining orders as a Sappern fellow. Before her law career, Sarah ran The Bronx Defenders Debate Initiative and coached high school and college debate teams.

Sarah received her B.A. from Capital University, an M.L.S. from Texas Woman’s University, a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies, M.A. in Interpersonal Communication, and Ph.D. in Rhetorical Criticism (secondary concentration in Political Science) from Ohio University, and a J.D. from Quinnipiac Law School. Sarah is admitted to practice law in the state of Connecticut and the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. She is an accredited attorney with the United States Department for Veterans Affairs.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Daily via Zoom, by appointment


Spring 2021
WRCT 211 - 01
Disability Advocacy

Fall 2021
WRCT 115F - 01
Diffusion of Innovation (FYS)

WRCT 357 - 01
Saving the Republic