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Dr. Ryan Salzman, PHD
Northern Kentucky University

Ryan spends most days trying to understand how democracies work. After 10 years researching democratic attitudes and behaviors in Central America, his scholarship now focuses on exploring the political potential of placemaking in the United States. Whether using large-sample surveys and complex statistical analysis or engaging in lengthy, exploratory interviews, the goal remains the same: figure out what people want from their government and how it might be achieved. Now, Ryan practices what he teaches, participating in a wide range of civic engagement, including pop-up events, citizen committees, nonprofit boards, community potlucks, and little libraries. He was also elected to the City Council of Bellevue (KY) in 2014 and reelected in 2016 and 2018. The result of this professional and civic engagement is a deep appreciation of democratic governance and citizenship.