exterior of Dickson Hall
News and Announcements

Fostering Success

As Deborah Fish Ragin retires, she leaves a legacy to help foster-care children attend college and graduate

Posted in: Homepage News and Events, Psychology

photo of Professor Deborah Fish Ragin in front of shelves with books and picture frames
To help students overcome struggles, Deborah Fish Ragin, retiring after 17 years as a professor of psychology, has given a $100,000 gift to support the Red Hawk Fellows program.

It’s not always easy to know what students have been going through when they enter the classroom. For many, the struggle is real, whether it’s having enough to eat or having a place to live. For students who have grown up in foster care, the obstacles are especially challenging.

“When in foster care, there’s no primer on what to do,” says Psychology Professor Deborah Fish Ragin.

Their challenges have inspired Ragin as she retires from Montclair State to give a faculty gift of $100,000 to Red Hawk Fellows, a support program for foster youth and other undergraduates who are homeless, legally separated from parents or independent.

The gift reflects Ragin’s mission to help these struggling students as a personal tribute to her father, John Fish. “I am a daughter of a man who was in foster care, not once, but twice,” Ragin says.

Read more about Professor Deborah Fish Ragin in the Spring/Summer issue of Montclair Magazine.