Chatham University

Women's and Gender Studies Faculty and Staff

Jessie Ramey

Jessie Ramey
Director, Women's Institute and Associate Professor, Gender & Women's Studies
Hometown : Pittsburgh, PA
Joined Chatham : 2015

Academic Areas of Interest

U.S. women's history, race, working families, feminism, public policy, social movements, gender and sexuality


Jessie Ramey is a historian of working families and U.S. social policy. She is the inaugural director of Chatham's new Women's Institute where she will be working on gender equity through teaching, scholarship, and outreach, both on campus and in the broader community. Her current scholarship examines public education policy, neoliberalism, and grassroots social justice movements. She teaches courses on women's history, feminist theory, and gender & sexuality. Dr. Ramey was the founding director of Carnegie Mellon University's Undergraduate Research Office and has also worked in the arts and non-profit management; faculty development; and philanthropy.


  • Ph.D., History, Carnegie Mellon University, 2009
  • MA, Women's History, Sarah Lawrence College
  • BA and MA, History, Carnegie Mellon University


  • Child Care in Black and White: Working Parents and the History of Orphanages (University of Illinois Press, 2012)
  • “For the Public Good: Urban Youth Advocacy and the Fight for Public Education,” Children and Youth Services Review. Place, Power, and Possibility: Remaking Social Work with Children and Youth (Special edition edited by Janet L. Finn, Vol. 35, No. 8 (August 2013): 1260–1267.
  • “‘I Dream of Them Almost Every Night’: Working Class Fathers and Orphanages in Pittsburgh, 1878-1929,” Journal of Family History, Vol. 37, No. 1 (January 2012): 36-54.
  • “The Bloody Blonde and the Marble Woman: Gender and Power in the Case of Ruth Snyder,” Journal of Social History, Vol. 37, No. 3 (spring 2004): 625-650.


  • Lerner-Scott Prize in women's history, Organization of American Historians (OAH)
  • Herbert G. Gutman Prize, Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA)
  • John Heinz Award, National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI)
  • New Faculty Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), 2011-2013
  • Iris Marion Young Award for Political Engagement, University of Pittsburgh, 2013
  • Named one of “5 People Making Pittsburgh a More Livable City for All, ” NEXT Pittsburgh, 2014
  • Named a top “Person to Know in 2014, ” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2014
  • Gerda Lerner Award in Women’s History, Sarah Lawrence College, 2002