Dr. Ragan joined the Honors Program in August 2014. She has a number of Citadel alumni in her family and is thrilled to lead The Citadel Honors Program. She has a passion for education and for people and loves to assist cadets in their endeavors.
Dr. Ragan attended high school in Los Alamos, NM, spending college summers working at Los Alamos National Lab. She received degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Rice University (B.S.) and the University of California at Santa Barbara (M.S. and Ph.D.). Along the way, she also received a Fulbright Fellowship for conducting solid-state physics research in Sweden. Deirdre holds 5 patents for ideas conceived and developed at PPG Industries. PPG Industries is a Fortune 500 company specializing in glass and coatings.
She enjoys teaching in the Honors Program, both as a one-on-one mentor in Honors research courses and in multidisciplinary Honors courses. Additionally, since 2017 she has been part of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in materials science and engineering design. In 2019 she was selected as the Lowcountry Engineer of the Year by the Charleston Engineering Joint Council.
Dr. Ragan grew up in various places across the United States (CA, NM, TX, SC, NC, and PA), but she considers both the mountains of northern New Mexico and the beaches of Charleston home. She now lives with her husband and children in the Charleston area.
Mary Helen joined the Honors Program in the Fall of 2019. With degrees in Philosophy and Political Science from Furman University, she is excited to bring her passion for excellence in learning to The Citadel. Over the past decade, Mary Helen has worked as a coordinator for events and public speakers, encouraged and supported women as a doula, and taken time off to be with her children. Most recently, she has spent her time helping students pursue a love of reading and story-telling as a school librarian. As Charleston native and daughter of a Citadel alumnus, Mary Helen is happy to be a part of The Citadel community where she can assist cadets in achieving their own goals both at The Citadel and in the years ahead.