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Professor Leaves Lasting Legacy to Support Red Hawk Fellows

Posted in: Faculty News, News, Psychology News

Photo of Professor Deborah Ragin in front of bookshelf with books and picture frames

Deborah Fish Ragin, professor in the Psychology Department, has announced her retirement from the university at the end of this semester and, as part of her legacy, has left a generous gift of $100,000.00 to establish the John A. and Juanita M. Fish Red Hawks Fellows Endowed Fund to provide critical services for full-time students designated as Red Hawk Fellows.

The Red Hawk Fellows program at Montclair State University is committed to supporting undergraduate scholars from diverse backgrounds who are identified as emancipated foster students, unaccompanied homeless students and those students from households where no immediate parental or extended family guidance is accessible. Ragin’s gift is designed to help Red Hawk Fellows successfully graduate by supporting tuition and fees, academic services, summer housing, food services and stipends to support other necessary expenses.

A distinguished member of the Psychology Department with a long record of outstanding teaching, research and service, Professor Ragin, received her PhD from Harvard University in 1985 and worked at Hunter College in the Community Health Education Program and then the Mt. Sinai Department of Emergency Medicine. Ragin joined Montclair State as an Associate Professor in 2003 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2011.

During her 17 years at Montclair State, Ragin has chaired or co-chaired a wide array of committees in her department, in the university, in national organizations such as the American Psychological Association as well as international ones through her work with the United Nations. Her work has ranged widely, including studies of community and ethical research as well as domestic violence. Her textbook, Health Psychology: An Interdisciplinary Approach, is a flagship in her field, is used five countries and translated into Mandarin Chinese. As an educator, Professor Ragin has been a key part of the Psychology Department’s teaching, notably mentoring undergraduate students of color in research projects resulting in presentations at international, national and local conferences.