Julia van der Ryn, MA

Julia van der Ryn headshot

Executive Director, Center for Community Engagement, Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Social Justice

Social Justice Center for Community Engagement

School of Liberal Arts and Education

Julia founded Dominican’s Service-Learning Program in 2004. Advocating a critical social justice and community assets-based approach, she has developed, taught, and collaborated on more than 30 Service-Learning classes and has mentored faculty in critical pedagogy, course design, critical reflection, and reciprocal partnerships. She has implemented numerous community-engaged, participatory initiatives and research projects, many with a special focus on education justice and building capacity for youth/community voice. Her work with students, faculty, administration, and community partners fuels her appreciation for the power of creative collaborations with colleagues on and off-campus and education that links thinking to reflective and ethical action in the world. 


Dominican University of California, MA, Humanities

Dominican University of California, BA, Religion/Philosophy

Research Interests

Julia’s research interests include all aspects of community-engaged learning and asset-based approaches to community development, how critical practitioners can work within institutional structures, and learning from the wisdom and resiliency of people who have been historically marginalized. She views research less as a means to publish an article, but as a way to constantly fuel curiosity, inspire, and sustain education for social change.

Contact Information