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Ryan Christman


Military Service

U.S. Air Force First Lieutenant


2 years served


Seeking a career in nonprofit


Whitmore Lake, MI

About Ryan

I have a bachelor's degree in American studies from Notre Dame and a master's degree in technology studies from Eastern Michigan University. I gave a technology-based commercialization plan presentation for the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans at Purdue University in 2012 that was awarded a "Most Innovative Idea" award. As I investigated that idea further with a consultant from Accenture, I realized that the idea was much different than a traditional business idea.

In the years that followed, I have continued pursuing that idea, trying to drill down to the root of what I have been trying to express, both personally and on behalf of veterans suffering from severe mental illness. The past four years have been spent in the formal study of philosophy, and participating in local philosophy meetups in service of understanding that idea.

A few weeks ago, I presented my findings in the form of a veterans workgroup at the State of Michigan peer support trainings that are held at DeWitt, Michigan. The result was a wonderful conversation with other disabled veterans that resulted in us being invited to do another workshop with more veterans to be supported by the state peer support program again in December. Simultaneously, I have been accepted to participate in the Veterans Research Engagement Council at the Ann Arbor VA and the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. The program lead there says it is very possible to seek the oversight of a principal investigator on a veteran-led research project. I completed a master's degree in 2010, and I have some experience with research design.

I am seeking to find ways to put the philosophical work I have done the past several years into practice, to actively inspire the practical application of veteran-led community development. I hope to continue to develop the philosophy workgroups into a community outreach group, and I hope that the insights we gain there could possibly inspire future research.

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Questions by Ryan

10 months ago

How do I create a network of disabled veterans creating meaning and sense of purpose through community development

I am a total and permanent disabled veteran but I have significant education and further personal training in philosophy. The...

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