Staff Profiles

Dr. Ruth Ost


Born and raised in New Jersey, Ruth headed to Ohio for college. She earned an A.B. from Oberlin where she majored in English, minored in history, took a lot of French and not enough art history (but she made up for it later). She spent the first half of her career in Michigan teaching high school English, Humanities (recognized as a Program of Excellence by the National Council of Teachers of English), and directing the high school gifted program. Interrupting those Michigan years, she lived in Paradiso (a.k.a. Rome, Italy) and traveled far and wide with two Airedales (they liked Turkey best!). She spent a couple of summers in NYC on National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowships, one at Fordham, one at the Jung Center. Interested in art, literature, ritual, visual anthropology and Jungian psychology, she did the math and it added up to making the move from Ann Arbor to Philadelphia where she earned a Ph.D. in religion at Temple. While in grad school, she taught summers at the University of Tennessee at Martin, in the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Humanities. For a short time she was a visiting professor at the University of Rochester, but eventually came back to Temple…where she found her home, finally, in the best of all possible places—Honors!

In 2006, Ruth won the Outstanding Temple University Academic Advising Administrator Award. She has had a wonderful time not only advising but teaching Honors students in Death and Dying, First Person America, Art, Ritual and Gender, and Pilgrimage: from Holy Lands to Graceland. Ruth serves as the faculty representative for the Marshall, Rhodes, Truman, Udall Carnegie Junior Endowment Scholarships and strongly promotes the Fulbright and St. Andrew’s Scholarships (application through the Office of Education Abroad and Overseas Campuses, right down the hall from Honors). She has served on the national board of NAFA (National Association of Fellowship Advisors) and has been a reader for the Udall Foundation Scholarships. If Ruth had her way, all Temple students would study abroad.