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

Sarah Ryan is a Communications scholar and attorney whose research explores public deliberation and civic participation, including: how members of diasporas build community, how nonprofit leaders communicate with donors, and how governments suppress dissent through citizen control systems. 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, chapters, and technical reports. Her current research focuses on the litigation strategies of transgender plaintiffs in discrimination cases and criminal justice reform in the United States.

Sarah has taught at public and private universities in the U.S. and abroad. At Yale Law School, she 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 of Communication, and a learning communities advisor. At the University of Texas at El Paso, Sarah was faculty coordinator for the Philippines site of a Social Change Communication 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 for seven years.

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.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Tuesdays 1-3:00pm and Fridays 10-11am


Spring 2020
CSPL 237 - 01
Communicate for Good

CSPL 244 - 01
Conflict Res in Practice

Summer 2020
CSPL 357Z - 01
Saving the Republic

Fall 2020
CSPL 211 - 01
Disability Advocacy