A native of Portsmouth, Va., Ratcliffe attended James Madison University earning a degree in Psychology with a minor in English. She then attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, earning a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology.
While at Virginia Tech, she began to work as a tutor for student-athletes. Ratcliffe's career in intercollegiate athletics began at VT as the Assistant Director of Student Life in the summer of 1994. She became an Assistant Athletics Director at Virginia Tech in 1997 and was charged with overseeing a plan designed to curb some of the off-the-field incidents that were occurring with student-athletes.
After five years at VT, Ratcliffe joined Jeff Long's staff at Eastern Kentucky University as the Assistant Athletic Director for Administration and Compliance/SWA. While at EKU, she was highly versatile in working with many administrative areas. She rose to the position of Associate Athletic Director/SWA in the summer of 2001.
On December 31, 2004, Derita became the first female and the youngest person in program history to be selected as Director of Athletics at Kentucky State University, a Division II HBCU located in Frankfort, Ky. Ratcliffe served at KSU for nearly four years.
PERSONAL: Derita is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.