Joan Ramage Elected to Leadership Position at Universities Space Research Association

Joan Ramage (left) with COI vice chair Jed Hancock from Utah State University.

Joan Ramage, professor of Earth and environmental sciences, was elected chair recently of the Council of Institutions. The Council of Institutions (COI) of Universities Space Research Association (USRA), which comprises representatives from each of USRA’s 120 member institutions, elected new leadership, bringing together esteemed professionals from diverse academic backgrounds to further advance the organization's mission. 

Ramage brings experience and dedication to her new role. Her tenure with USRA dates to 2012 when she first joined as a COI representative. Over the years, she has made significant contributions to USRA governance and operations, notably through her involvement in the Scholarship Review Committee from 2014 to 2020 and again in 2023, as well as her ongoing service on the Issues and Programs Committee since 2018. She hosted a meeting of USRA’s member universities from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in 2021. Recognized for her leadership, Ramage was elected Vice Chair of USRA's Council of Institutions in 2022, a testament to her commitment to advancing collaborative efforts within the organization. 

Beyond her role within USRA, Ramage is active in many other initiatives. She is an expert in remote sensing of the terrestrial cryosphere and leads the Eastern Snow Conference. She is deeply committed to fostering diversity and inclusion within STEM fields. As part of her endeavors at Lehigh University and beyond, she actively contributes to the Earth and environmental sciences department’s committee on diversity and inclusion, working to create an environment where all voices are heard and valued.

Ramage’s dedication to advancing equity is beyond her immediate roles. She has developed National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) workshops aimed at fostering graduate student belonging, success, and leadership, contributing to the cultivation of a supportive and inclusive academic community. In her capacity as ADVANCE Center Faculty Director, Ramage champions equity and success for faculty members, with a particular emphasis on removing barriers to success for historically minoritized faculty across STEM disciplines and academia at large. Her multifaceted approach underscores her unwavering commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within academia, making her a truly invaluable asset to both Lehigh University and the broader academic community.

Founded in 1969, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences at the request of the U.S. Government, the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is a nonprofit corporation chartered to advance space-related science, technology, and engineering. USRA operates scientific institutes and facilities and conducts other major research and educational programs. It is an association with 120 university members. USRA engages the broader university community, employs in-house scientific talent, and offers innovative research, development, and project management expertise.