Dr. Melanie Ragin appointed new assistant dean for inclusion and academic excellence

On October 19th, the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) established the assistant dean for inclusion and academic excellence, a new leadership position at the college. Dr. Melanie Ragin will join the college’s senior leadership team in this new role.

“As many of you know, the university and our college are making focused efforts to address the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Lorin Warnick, D.V.M., Ph.D. ’94, Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “The creation of this new position signifies a key step in these efforts. I sincerely appreciate Melanie’s willingness to join our leadership team in this critical role.”

As assistant dean for inclusion and academic excellence at CVM, Ragin will lead the college’s diversity office to advance the college’s diversity and inclusion strategic goals, in alignment with the university’s Belonging at Cornell framework. She will work closely with the CVM Belonging at Cornell Committee, Committee Chair Dr. Antonia Jameson Jordan, and other members of the college community to foster broad input and participation in diversity efforts and to implement new initiatives.

“I commend the college for putting diversity, equity and inclusion as a top priority through establishing this position,” says Ragin. “I’m honored and excited to step into this new role, and look forward to creating meaningful and lasting change where every single member of our community feels valued, empowered, and respected.”

Along with her new role as assistant dean, Ragin will continue to serve as senior director for two programs that specifically work with underserved/underrepresented, first-generation, low-income transfer and deaf/hard of hearing students in enhancing their academic and STEM scientific research success; the Howard Hughes Medical Institute-Cornell University Research Transfer program and the NIH-funded Cornell Initiative to Maximize Student Development.  

Before beginning her appointment at Cornell on June 3, 2018, Ragin was director of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at Binghamton University, where she oversaw the design and development of various McNair and university-wide programs and oversaw the teaching, programming and identifying research opportunities and placements of first-generation/low-income and/or underrepresented students. Prior to her position at Binghamton, Ragin was director of inclusion and cultural enhancement at the University at Buffalo’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Ragin holds a B.A. in biology from Whittier College, a Ph.D. in pathobiology from Pennsylvania State University and a certificate of business leadership from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business.

“Dr. Ragin’s experience, knowledge and perspective will be hugely valuable to our leadership team and to the college as a whole,” Warnick said. “I look forward to working closely with her as we continue to make strides in enhancing the student experience across all academic programs at CVM and ensuring full engagement and inclusion of every member of our staff, faculty and alumni community.”

-By Lauren Cahoon Roberts