Dr. Brian Abel Ragen is a distinguished figure in the fields of education and literature. Having possessed a formative love of literature, he desired to enter academia to share his appreciation of the craft. Before commencing his career, he attended Pomona College, graduating in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts. Subsequently, he matriculated at Princeton University, receiving a Master of Arts in 1983 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1987.
After earning his master’s degree, Dr. Ragen served as a lecturer at Princeton University until 1988. During this time, he also thrived as a lecturer at Bryn Mawr College from 1986 to 1987. Following these tenures, he joined the faculty of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1988 as an assistant professor, and he ascended the ranks to associate professor and full professor until 1993. Deciding to leverage his knowledge to educate more students, he returned to Bryn Mawr College, serving the academic institution as an assistant professor, associate professor and full professor. In his post-retirement years, Dr. Ragen continued to educate students in China, having been recognized as a visiting professor at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2010. Notably, he has been recognized as an emeritus professor of English at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville since 2013.
Outside of his primary endeavors as an educator, Dr. Ragen is an equally accomplished musician and author. In 2018, he produced the album, “Words to Music: Songs of Eugene Field featuring Christine Brewer and Scott Kennebeck.” Additionally, he authored the book, “A Wreck on the Road to Damascus” in 1989 and the paper, “Tom Wolfe: A Critical Comparison” in 2002. Over the course of his career, Dr. Ragen has contributed articles to scholarly journals on the topics of heraldry, hymnity and literary canon. His esteemed work in literature garnered him the Design Award: The Best Heraldic Design of the Year from the American Heraldry Society in 2009. Among his many career achievements, however, Dr. Ragen is particularly proud of being the editor of a scholarly journal paper on language and literature, a role which he fulfilled from 1992 to 2008.
In light of his outstanding undertakings, Dr. Ragen has been honored on several occasions. In 2004, he was named a Knight of Justice by the Most Venerable Order of St. John, having thereafter been named a Knight Commander by the Order of St. Michael of the Wing in 2011. Likewise, he received the Médaille d’Honneur du Service in 2016. In 2018, Dr. Ragen was named a Knight Grand Cross by the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and in 2019, he was named a Knight of Magisterial Grace by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Recently, in 2022, he earned the Service Medal of the Order of St. John, with three clasps recognizing 25 years of service. In 2023, Dr. Ragen was named Catholic Man of the Year and earned an honorary doctorate from Fontbonne University.