DUNMORE, Pa. — Penn State Scranton Chancellor Marwan Wafa has announced the promotion of Dharti Ray to the position of assistant director of Student Services and Engagement.
Ray graduated from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business in 2019 with a bachelor of science in marketing and is currently working toward her master of human resources and employment relations from the Penn State World Campus.
Ray has been with Penn State Scranton in a full-time capacity since 2019, when she took over as the diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator. In this role, she advised four multicultural student organizations, organized and planned diversity circles for the campus community, organized a university-wide diversity forum for Penn State employees, and coordinated and executed thematic month programming to educate the campus community, among other duties.
Most recently, she has served as Penn State Scranton’s coordinator of co-curricular programs. Her responsibilities in this position include overseeing the student senate and major meetings, advising Penn State Scranton’s peer mentors for First-Year Seminar (FYS) courses, co-advising the campus’ Student Government Association (SGA) and THON chapter and facilitating career resource workshops for specific student populations, among others.
In her new role as assistant director of Student Services and Engagement Ray will oversee SGA, clubs, and organizations and advise student leadership programs, community engagement and service, as well as supervise the coordinator of student activities and the coordinator of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as numerous student employees. Through this role, she will be able to develop and sustain community partnerships, serve as the main point of contact for the special populations and change of location/transition programs, and serve as the campus student conduct designee.
Ray says the prospect of continuing to work with the students, faculty, and staff was crucial in her decision to move forward in her professional career at Penn State Scranton.
“I thrive on connections with my peers and campus community,” Ray said. “I am looking forward to making a greater impact on our students' lives to further their overall college experiences. My background of working in student affairs has led me to this role.”
When asked what some of her goals were for her new position, Ray said that she hopes to create a path where students can become successful in their academics and as leaders in the campus community.
“Student engagement opportunities cultivates student leaderships and facilitates a wholesome college experience,” Ray said. “I aspire to grow student involvement in hands-on experiences of leadership and other skill building opportunities. I am excited to work with other departments and faculty to manage programs such as NSO, FYS, etc.”
Outside of her work at Penn State Scranton, Ray is active on the board of directors for Leadership Lackawanna. As a member of the board, Ray represents Penn State Scranton to further community partnership, collaborates with other board members to grow Leadership Lackawanna’s programs and fundraising efforts, and reviews program budgets, Core and Tomorrow’s Leaders Today activities and fundraisers. She is also a teacher and volunteer at the BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Temple, where she teaches young girls about the basics of Hinduism, coordinates cultural events and activities, trains teenage girls to continue their leadership around the temple, attends Hindu Centre conferences at the regional and national level, and collects data and reports it to the regional BAPS youth activities.Ray resides in Scranton, Pennsylvania, with her family, which includes her parents. She enjoys spending time with her friends and loved ones when she is not working and doing assignments for graduate courses.