Having completed her Ph.D. in Art History and Visual Studies at Cornell University in 2019, Professor Ryan also holds an M.A. in Art History, a B.F.A. in Studio Art, and a B.A. in Humanities from the University of Colorado. In 2017, she was awarded an American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowship, becoming part of a lineage of AAUW Fellows. 

Professor Ryan's areas of research include Transatlantic visual culture, modern and contemporary arts of the African diaspora, Latin American art, intersectional feminism, and women-identifying artists. With a decolonial and feminist perspective, her work engages with issues of race and gender through theories of consumption, labor, recuperation, and care - particularly as they intersect with maternity. An occasional curator, Dr. Ryan has organized exhibitions on contemporary film, video, and photography. She has a professional background in the museum field, specifically education and outreach, at The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, The Norton Museum of Art, and The Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University. 

Her current book projects are a volume co-edited with Lesley Wolff on food and feminism in contemporary Caribbean Art and Liquid Gold: Milk in Transatlantic Visual Culture