Ryan believes in design as a tool for social activism. Driven by the power of personal conversation and interaction, she imagines every association within a community as part of the Community Design Ecosystem. Rethinking the design as problem-solving model, Ryan’s passion lies in creating situations for community members and designers to become involved on a personal level to create sustainable, long-term design solutions. Working on projects that meet the goals of the client and meet the needs of the community is key. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design (BFA in Graphic Design 2008), Ryan completed Master of Fine Art in Visual Communications Design at Purdue University in 2013 while simultaneously instructing undergraduate Art & Design courses in the Visual and Performing Arts Program.
Ryan was selected to participate in the highly acclaimed Camp Firebelly program as a camper in 2012. During the 10-day stay in the Chicago-based Firebelly design studio, she was able to contribute to several community-driven nonprofits including Project Nia, You Are Beautiful, and even crafted a winning signature cocktail recipe for Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar. This 10-day experience helped shape the community-driven research completed at Purdue University in addition to shaping the future passions Ryan has taken into her classroom and communities across the nation.
Ryan currently works with Juniata College students in the Integrated Media Arts Program to design real-world solutions that meet their community partner needs. With the hope to make a positive contribution on future designers, Ryan hopes to educate the next generation of designers in the most meaningful way; teaching each student ways to use their imagination to make a difference in the world in addition to their local communities. If you would like to know more about Ryan’s research and teaching experience, please download a current copy of her Curriculum Vitae.
Recent Research + Community Development
With a strong passion to develop sustainable relationships between those in the Huntingdon community and at Juniata College, Ryan works to build real world experiences in the classroom through community partnerships. Students have most recently partnered with local organizations including the Huntingdon Community Center, Huntingdon House, in addition to the Huntingdon Community Food Garden initiative through the Integrated Media Arts Community-Engaged Learning (CEL) designated courses. Implementing community-engaged learning courses at Juniata is not the only way in which Ryan dedicates much of her time and energy. She is the founder of ReInvision Huntingdon, a local revitalization nonprofit. Additionally, she has served the community by acting as member on the Huntingdon County Arts Council Board of Directors, Strategic Alliance of Economic Growth Committee (SAEG), and the Huntingdon Landmarks Downtown Opportunities Committee to assist in energizing the local community.
For the love of wood type
Following a 2011 spring trip to the Hamilton Wood Type Museum for a letterpress workshop, Ryan grew a new love for typography in the form of wood type. Ryan returned to Two Rivers, WI following the spring workshop for the Wayzgoose Type Conference in addition to spending a week at the museum in a Printer’s Residency role to assist with sorting and organizing the largest collection of wood type in the world. In 2017 she purchased a Vandercook No.2 Proofing Press from the local newspaper press room at the Huntingdon Daily News. She is now working to restore the press and hopes to offer letterpress workshops in the near future.