MCC Announces Speakers for 50th Commencement Exercises

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Gina Barreca (l) and Nancy Kelley (r)

Dr. Gina Barreca, author and professor of English and feminist theory; and Nancy J. Kelley, a renowned entrepreneur and business leader in the fields of genome research and life sciences, will speak at the college’s 50th Commencement ceremony.

Kelley is an MCC alumna and a nationally recognized executive and lawyer who has driven key strategic initiatives in the business, government, nonprofit and academic sectors for more than 20 years. Most recently, she served as founding executive director of the New York Genome Center. She will deliver the alumni address.

Dr. Barreca will deliver the Commencement address. She is the author of numerous books including It’s Not That I’m Bitter: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World (St. Martin’s). She is on the faculty at the University of Connecticut and earned the university’s highest award for excellence in teaching.

In addition, Dr. Barreca has lectured worldwide as the authority on gender difference in humor. Her books have been translated into several languages, including Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and German. Her weekly columns from The Hartford Courant are now distributed nationally by the McClatchy-Tribune Syndicate.

She has delivered keynotes at events organized by The Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, the National Writers Workshop, the Women’s Campaign School at Yale and the National Association of Independent Schools, The Chicago Humanities Festival, Women In Federal Law Enforcement, Chautauqua and The Smithsonian. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Dartmouth College, where she was the first woman to be named Alumni Scholar; a master of arts degree from Cambridge University, where she was a Reynold’s Fellow; and a Ph.D. from the City University of New York.

Meanwhile, Kelley served as one of the 11 institutional founding members of the New York Genome Center and led it from a startup in 2010 to a fully operational, world class genomics research center and provider of cutting edge sequencing and bioinformatics services. Her prior leadership history includes work in scientific institutions, life science companies, and life science real estate development. She was a leader of the East River Science Park project in Manhattan and has overseen major development projects for clients such as the National Institutes of Health, Johns Hopkins University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University/Boston Medical Center.

She currently serves or has served on boards for the New York Genome Center, The Jackson Laboratory, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Whitehead Institute.

Earlier in her career, Kelley was appointed a White House Fellow and Truman Scholar. She holds an associate in science degree in accounting from Manchester Community College, a bachelor of arts in economics from Yale College, a juris doctor degree (JD) from Harvard Law School, and a master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

The Commencement Exercises will be held on Thursday, May 29, at 5:30 p.m. at the Bicentennial Band Shell on the campus lawn.