August's Local Hero: Jonathan Ragone

August 14, 2023

Science & Engineering Hall

Every person in the GW Engineering community contributes to the fabric and culture of what makes us great and unique. As an institution of higher education, we often celebrate the achievements of our students and faculty. However, without the tireless work of GW Engineering staff, nothing would be possible. From our facilities, to our technology, to supporting our events, the staff at GW Engineering keeps our school moving forward. Each month we will highlight one staff member in our Local Hero editorial feature. Take the time to meet the people who are at the foundation of our school.

Executive Director of Undergraduate Student Services, Advising, and Records, Jonathan Ragone, works hard to ensure all incoming and returning undergraduate students are well-supported throughout their entire time at GW Engineering. Read below to learn more about August’s Local Hero, Jonathan Ragone! :

Q: How long have you been working at GW and what is your position?
A: This is my 10th year at The George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science. I am the Executive Director of Undergraduate Student Services, Advising, and Records.

Q: What led you to this career?
A: I started my career in Student Affairs/Residence Life as an Assistant Residence Hall Director in my senior year of college. I really enjoy working with students, faculty, and staff to create communities that foster learning, leadership, and belonging. In this first position, I helped lead the Living Learning Center for Science and Engineering which seems to have come full circle 24 years later. After that, I remained in Residence Life for a number of years in different positions with functional areas around leadership development. However, I later transitioned to roles more focused on Academic Affairs which included orientation, advising, and program management.

Q: Why did you choose GW?
A: As much as GW is an amazing school, I really chose SEAS because its value of a small, tight-knit, supportive community in STEM really aligns with my values and experiences.

Q: What is one thing you wish you’d known when you started working at GW?
A: Do not be afraid to ask for help as there are a lot of wonderful and supportive people here.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at GW Engineering?
A: By far it is the people. I have met and worked with so many fantastic students, alumni, faculty, and staff who really work hard to make an impact.

Q: Why would someone want to work at GW Engineering?
A: Outstanding and supportive leadership. Collaborative and supportive staff. Passionate and caring students and alumni.

Q: What is your biggest work pet peeve?
A: I always want to be early and sometimes that is hard to do.

Q: What’s your ideal way to spend the weekend?
A: I would love to go to the beach but that is a little hard to do here in DC.

Q: What's one of your favorite memories from the past year?
A: In general, my favorite memories involve orientation and graduation. The bookends produce some amazing moments of excitement, gratitude, and growth.

Q: Tell us something people don't know about you.
A: I used to sing (a lot) … jazz choir, church choir, musical theater, I even did a recital.

Q: What advice would you give to incoming first-year students on how to succeed at GW Engineering?
A: The key to success is finding your passion because when your values align with what you are doing, there is no limit to what you can achieve. Of course that is easier said than done, but challenge yourself to go outside of your comfort zone, listen to yourself, take time to reflect, and be open to new ideas.