Jessie Ramey

Associate Professor of Gender Studies


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


Dr. Ramey is a historian of working families and U.S. social policy. Since 2015, she has been the inaugural director of Chatham’s Women's Institute, where she works on gender equity through teaching, scholarship, and outreach, both on campus and in the broader community. Her current research examines public education policy, neoliberalism, and grassroots social justice movements. She teaches courses on women's leadership, women's history, feminist theory, and gender & sexuality.  In addition, Dr. Ramey is the Chair of the Gender Equity Commission for the City of Pittsburgh and serves on the Mayor's Task Force on Women in Public Art.


  • 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