Carlow University Names Jessica Ruffin Director of its Social Justice Institutes

Jessica Ruffin, former COO of Coro Pittsburgh, has been named the director of Carlow University’s Social Justice Institutes.

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Former COO of Coro Pittsburgh Accepts New Position at Carlow

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Carlow University has named Jessica Ruffin to be the director of its Social Justice Institutes.

“Jessica brings a wealth of experience at community building, strategic planning, financial management, and fundraising. In addition, she values service and is committed to social justice,” said Deanne D’Emilio, JD, Provost of Carlow University.  “We are very pleased to welcome her as the inaugural director of The Social Justice Institutes of Carlow University.”

The Social Justice Institutes includes the Grace Ann Geibel Institute for Justice and Social Responsibility and the Women of Spirit Institute. The Geibel Institute engages students, faculty, staff and the community in research, education, and outreach that seeks to challenge systemic oppression. The new Women of Spirit Institute will work to provide access to resources and programming for women seeking to create and implement solutions for social change. The collaboration between the two institutes will build capacity to make a sustainable impact in communities, locally and globally.

“One of my primary goals in this position is to increase the visibility of Carlow’s existing efforts so that it receives the recognition it deserves for the amazing work that has been accomplished over the years,” said Ruffin, who wants to position the university as a leader in education, research, and advocacy around social justice issues.   “I have long admired and appreciated the contributions that Carlow has made to the region as a result of their mercy-driven mission.  The opportunity to work alongside members of this committed community to build a more socially just society was simply an opportunity that I could not pass up.”

Most recently, Ruffin was the chief operating officer at Coro Pittsburgh.  In this role, Ruffin managed and coached staff through the delivery of quality programing to emerging civic leaders who sought to develop their leadership in an effort to have a meaningful impact on our region and make Pittsburgh more livable for everyone.   In this role, she also served as the director of Public Allies Pittsburgh.  She joined the organization in 2012 as the training and learning manager.

Ruffin has also held positions as community impact director with Amachi Pittsburgh, and as a business support specialist with the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh.

Ruffin earned a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from the University of Pittsburgh, and her MBA from Chatham University.

She is active in the community, most notably as a school-based mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Mentor 2.0 Program and as a faculty member for the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s Black Female Leadership Development Institute.  Ruffin is a graduate of the Serving Leaders’ Leaders Collaborative and Coro Pittsburgh’s Community Problem-Solving Fellowship.  She also serves on the capital campaign committee for her church, St. Paul AME Church in Knoxville.

Ruffin resides in Beltzhoover.

### About Carlow University

Carlow is a private, co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Tech, Ed, and Med” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow’s graduates, curriculum, and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community that has a meaningful impact. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in three colleges: Health and Wellness, Leadership and Social Change, and Learning and Innovation. Carlow graduates are in demand for their professional expertise, in fields ranging from nursing, the sciences, and perfusion technology to counseling, education, and forensic accounting; their entrepreneurial spirit and creative mindset; and their ability to manage change.  Carlow’s eleven athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.

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