Charlotte Ryan is an Professor Emerita in the Sociology Department at UMass Lowell.

Charlotte Ryan, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita

College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Dugan Hall - 2nd Floor


Community-based participatory research; social movements and communication; environmental and climate sociology; and public sociology

Research Interests

Community-based participatory research; Social movements and communication; Environmental and climate sociology; Public sociology.

Recent research projects have focused on how unions, domestic violence groups and community-based organizations integrate strategic communications into broader change strategies.


  • Ph.D.: Sociology, (1992), Boston College - Boston, MA
    Dissertation/Thesis Title:Prime Time Activism: Media Strategies of Grassroots Social Movements
  • Other: Bilingual Education, (1981), Boston University, School of Education - Boston, MA
    Dissertation/Thesis Title:"African-American History Curriculum for Asian Students of English as a Second Language"
  • BA: History, (1971), Harvard University - Cambridge, MA

Selected Publications

  • Ryan, C. (2019). Beyond Prime Time Activism: Communication Activism and Social Change (first pp. 266). Routledge
  • Ryan, C. (2016). A Bridge Is Not Just a Metaphor: Building Sustainable Community-University Partnerships through Service Learning Projects. Service Sociology and Academic Engagement in Social Problems, 121.
  • Ryan, C., Brown, K.F. (2015). To act in concert : environmental communication from a social movement lens (pp. 114). Routledge
  • Ryan, C., Jeffreys, K., Ryczek, J., Diaz, J. (2014). Building Public Will: The Battle for Affordable—and Supportive—Housing. Journal of Poverty, 18(3) 335 - 354.
  • Ryan, C. (2014). A Bridge is not Just a Metaphor: Building Sustainable Community-university Partnerships through Service Learning Projects. Ashgate

Selected Presentations

  • A Bridge Is Not A Metaphor. - Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meeting thematic panel on Service Sociology, August 2011 - Las Vegas, Nevada

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Communities Creating Healthy Environments (2008), -
    Ryan, C. (Principal)
  • Communities Creating Healthy Environments, Praxis Project and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Youth Obesity Initiative) (2008), -
    Ryan, C.
  • Healey Public Service Grant (2007), Grant -
    Ryan, C.
  • ASA Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline (2002), - American Sociological Association
    Ryan, C.