Chatham News

Chatham University Names Dr. Jessie B. Ramey as Inaugural Director of its Women’s Institute

PITTSBURGH:  Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA has announced that following a national search, Jessie B. Ramey, Ph.D. has been selected as the inaugural director of the new Chatham University’s Women’s Institute.

Dr. Ramey is a historian, scholar, author and public policy expert with a focus on gender, race, working families, and U.S. social policy.  She is currently a visiting scholar in women’s studies at the University of Pittsburgh and an adjunct professor in history and the Humanities Scholars Program at Carnegie Mellon University. She was formerly a New Faculty Fellow (two-year postdoctoral fellowship, teaching and research) in women’s studies and history at the University of Pittsburgh through the American Council of Learned Societies.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Chatham University. The new Women’s Institute represents a significant commitment to gender equity both on campus and in society at large. I am excited to be a part of this forward-looking and crucial work for the twenty-first century,” says Dr. Ramey.

Dr. Jessie B. Ramey
Dr. Jessie B. Ramey

Dr. Ramey’s book, Child Care in Black and White: Working Parents and the History of Orphanages (University of Illinois Press, 2012), won the Lerner-Scott Prize in women’s history from the Organization of American Historians, the Herbert G. Gutman Prize from the Labor and Working-Class History Association, and the John Heinz Award from the National Academy of Social Insurance.  Dr. Ramey was the founding director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Undergraduate Research Office and also has a background in the arts and philanthropy. Her work on public education policy is regularly published in the national media, and she has been recognized twice by the White House with invitations to meet with President Obama’s senior policy advisors. NEXT Pittsburgh recently named her one of “5 People Making Pittsburgh a More Livable City for All,” and she was named one of the top “people to know in 2014” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Dr. Ramey is currently serving on Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s Task Force on Education.

Dr. Ramey earned a BA with honors (social history) from Carnegie Mellon University, an MA (women’s history) from Sarah Lawrence College, and an MA and Ph.D. (history) from Carnegie Mellon University.

About the Chatham University Women’s Institute 
“A legacy of empowering women yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”

Chatham University was founded in 1869 when lack of access to higher education for women was a pressing social concern. While access to higher education in the United States is no longer an issue for the majority of women today, women still face social inequality and challenges on many fronts, including in the workforce and business, in politics and government, and in health and wellness. In keeping with Chatham University’s leadership and historic commitment to women and women’s issues, Chatham has established the Chatham University Women’s Institute. The mission of the Institute is to help overcome and eradicate the social inequalities facing women, and to advance women’s excellence through education, research, and outreach in areas of modern-day social concerns. Its purpose on campus is to ensure the thoughtful continuation of the resources and expertise we have–and will continue to have–in enhancing education for women and gender equity in all aspects of campus life and academics.

The Women’s Institute is part of an $8.5 million funding initiative comprising various endowments, current funds, and $2 million in newly raised commitments in support of the Institute and its mission. The Women’s Institute will help support and coordinate Chatham’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship and Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics, along with a new Women and Health initiative and Women’s and Gender Studies Department.

About Chatham University
Now fully coed, Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, has over 2,100 students in the School of Health Sciences; the Falk School of Sustainability; and the School of Arts, Science and Business. Chatham is the alma mater of environmental icon Rachel Carson, and is recognized as a leader in the field of sustainability, having been named to Sierra magazine’s list of top 20 “cool schools” and mentioned in Forbes as one of the places “contributing to Pittsburgh’s transformation into a destination for green living.” Building on these accomplishments, Chatham opened in 2014 the world’s first fully sustainable campus in higher education, Eden Hall Campus. Consistently ranked as a best college by “U.S. News & World Report”, Chatham earned the highest ranking among western Pennsylvania institutions in the “Regional Universities – North” category for 2015. More information at