Ryan Rowberry comes to the College of Law following a yearlong appointment with the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C., as a supreme court fellow.
July 25, 2011
ATLANTA -- One of three new assistant professors to join the Georgia State University College of Law faculty this fall, Ryan Rowberry comes to Atlanta from Washington, D.C., following a yearlong appointment with the Supreme Court of the United States as a supreme court fellow.
As a fellow, Rowberry briefed foreign judicial delegations on the American system and created a reference guide to foreign legal systems for American judges. Prior to that, he worked as an environment/natural resources associate for a D.C. firm, which he joined upon graduation from Harvard Law School in 2008. Before enrolling in law school, he taught English and history to middle school students at a charter school in Massachusetts and to undergraduate students at Peking University in China. Both of Rowberry’s parents were teachers.
“I guess you could say I was raised in the classroom,” says Rowberry. “I thoroughly enjoyed the sharing of knowledge that happens in the classroom, and I also learned long ago that if I wanted questions answered – and I always have questions – I would need to dig into primary and secondary sources to satisfy my curiosity.”
Law school became the venue for Rowberry’s inquiries after he realized how different property rights were in each of the countries he had lived in – Germany, England, China and the U.S. – and how they affected each population. “It dawned on me that law structures opportunity in many ways for people around the world, and that’s what nudged me toward law school rather than a Ph.D.,” he says.
At Georgia State, Rowberry will continue to explore this area as he teaches courses on environmental/natural resources law and property law. He’ll also be working alongside Director Julian Juergensmeyer, Associate Director Jim Bross and Assistant Director Karen Johnston at the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth, which is dedicated to interdisciplinary research on urban growth and management issues. Rowberry will offer a course on English legal history next year and plans to collaborate with GSU’s history department in the future as well.
“I hope I can take some of the experience I’ve had and expand students’ viewpoint about what natural resources are and how they’re used or not used appropriately. Land use and natural resources, that’s really what affects people day to day, and how we manage those resources is important,” Rowberry says. “I’m excited to just discuss, because everybody has experience with it. Everybody’s got a viewpoint.”
Rowberry, originally from Idaho, is looking forward to living in a new region of the country, learning about Atlanta’s history and cheering on its sports teams, both professional and Panther. Most of all, he’s thrilled to be working with the top-notch GSU faculty and the diverse student body.
“I know they come from a lot of different places, Atlanta being the hub of the Southeast,” he says. “I’m excited to work with the students and see, where do they want to take themselves? That’s how I view myself, as a resource for them.”
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