Janis Raguin

Janis (Erickson) Raguin '92

Distinguished Alumni Award


“Education,” says Janis Raguin ’92, “is a gift no one can take away from you.” 
Raguin has many gifts to her name. After earning a bachelor of science degree in hotel management from Cornell University, the Groton, Massachusetts, native earned a master of education degree at UMass Lowell. Years later, she earned a counseling degree from Lesley University.
Currently a licensed mental health counselor at the New England Center for Healthy Minds, Raguin began her career in the retail industry, which she says left her hungry for more learning. When she heard that UML offered a one-year M.Ed. program, she jumped at it. A year later, she landed her first job as a sixth-grade teacher in Turner Falls, Massachusetts.  
One of her students—a boy who’d spent time in the foster care system—won a statewide essay contest sponsored by Scholastic Books, which flew him, his mother and Raguin to Chicago for an awards ceremony with basketball star Michael Jordan.  
Raguin went on to teach fifth grade at Lincoln Middle School, where she was introduced to the anti-racism work of Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum, “which completely changed how I viewed the world, how I set up my classroom and the way I taught all children,” she says. 
Raguin left full-time teaching when her children — Chantal, now 25, and Eric, 23 — were young, but Tatum’s philosophy—you can’t change the entire world, but you must work for change within your own sphere—remains a major influence on Raguin and her husband, John. They are long-time supporters of the UML’s UTeach program, to which they recently made a major gift. They also supported the renovation of Coburn Hall, as well as a scholarship for students from communities underrepresented in the teaching profession.