Hello, my name is Christian Ryan. I have served as WKU’s Sustainability Coordinator since 2008.
I grew up in the Missouri Ozarks, where I roamed the woods and riverbank with my primary companion, a Welsh pony named Foxy. It was in this environment that I developed a deep appreciation for nature, and the natural systems that are the foundation of life.
I studied Wildlife Conservation and Management at Missouri State University and upon graduation became a seasonal Interpretive Park Ranger for the National Park Service. I worked at four National Parks before Mammoth Cave brought me to Kentucky. I fell in love with Kentucky and decided to attend graduate school at WKU to pursue a M.S. in Biology/Ecology.
I explored WKU’s environmental performance for my thesis: Sustainability of Western Kentucky University: An Examination of Campus Environmental Policies, Performance and Potential for Change
My thesis led the then VP for Operations to create the position of Sustainability Coordinator and hire me to fill it. Since then we have made tremendous progress at WKU, but still have much opportunity to improve as a sustainable university.
I completed the WKU Educational Leadership Doctoral program in Fall of 2016. My research is focused on the concepts of disruptive leadership and disruptive wonder, the ability to see beyond cultural hegemonies to challenge and disrupt dysfunctional status quo with alternatives that better serve our communities. My dissertation, Disruptive Leadership: A Grounded Theory study of how three Kentucky women are leading change, can be found here. http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/diss/109/
I live with my dogs, Louie and Grace, in a 105-year-old house in Franklin that is a constant restoration project. I work on my house, spoil and love my dogs, run, swim, and eat. Also I have a non-profit business, Bloom Sustainability Consulting, and sometimes do some work such as writing grants for farmers when I can find the time.
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