I’m the chair of the Psychology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a nationally known anger researcher. I earned my doctorate from the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Southern Mississippi where I studied anger under Dr. Eric Dahlen. I teach courses in Abnormal Psychology, Psychology of Emotion, Research Methods in Psychology, and a capstone course on anger and violence. Although I study healthy and unhealthy anger in a variety of contexts, I’m best known for my work on how anger is expressed through social media. My work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today as well as on National Public Radio and various other news outlets.
I’ve been married for 16 years and have two young sons, with whom I spend most of my free time. Our family enjoys trips to Door County and visits with other family throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. In Green Bay, family time is spent at Bay Beach, the Farmers Market, the Children’s Museum, kids’ sports and dance lessons, and bike rides on various trails throughout Green Bay. When I take time for myself, I enjoy running, my favorite pastime, and run as many of the local races as possible.
My first dance memory comes from when I was around five or six-years-old and was at a wedding with my family. I was watching people dance and I really wanted to get out on the dance floor with them but was a little bit too shy. I went and found my mom and she invited me to dance with her. I remember being struck by how bad I was compared to everyone else. They had all made it look so easy and I just felt awkward and weird.
My wife, Tina, is my dream dance partner. While Apolo Anton Ohno is my favorite all-time performer from “Dancing with the Stars”. I had been a big fan of his from watching him in the Olympics, and really admired his personal story. His freestyle dance on DWTS, though, was particularly amazing.
I moved to Green Bay from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in July of 2005, less than two months before Hurricane Katrina devastated the place I called home for five years. I had many friends, coworkers, and former students who were living throughout southern Mississippi and Louisiana, and I watched with sadness and fear as they suffered because of the storm. I remember feeling profoundly helpless as I watched things unfold, but I also remember all the volunteers that were being dispatched by the American Red Cross to help. It was comforting to know that someone was doing something, and that even though I couldn’t help directly, I could donate to the people who were able to.
I am excited to get involved in the Dancing with Our Stars fundraiser for two reasons. First, and most obviously, I believe in the Red Cross and value the work they do. I am happy to raise money for the organization that was there for so many of my friends and has been there for so many others. Second, as a teacher I am constantly encouraging my students to step outside of their comfort zone and try things that are new and difficult. Dancing as part of this fundraiser is a chance for me to do the same.
Looking for a way to support Ryan? Here are two campaigns going on for this October. Check out his event facebook page for more information. “Vote” online for Ryan at: