DeAnna R. Burt-Nanna

DeAnna R. Burt-Nanna

DeAnna R. Burt-Nanna

President, Monroe Community College

Years in current role: 4 months

What do you enjoy most about your role?

By nature, I am a people person. I enjoy interacting with Monroe Community College students, faculty, staff and alumni on and off campus. I embrace opportunities to build early connections with them and one another while fostering belongingness in our campus community. My role as president of MCC also affords me increased opportunities to make local, regional, state and national connections where I can share the mission of and vision for MCC. I enjoy helping others connect their goals and objectives to the mission of MCC as the community’s college, particularly how increasing access to educational attainment as a pathway to family-sustaining wages and social mobility is strategically sound for the economic prosperity of our community as a whole while also being socially and morally right.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged organizations across all sectors, including higher education, to adapt quickly and with agility while bringing others along. The emotional, financial and social tolls of the pandemic left no one untouched within our campus and broader community. The pandemic further exposed the digital divide and basic need insecurities among our students; some were even more adversely affected by the pandemic. This is why as one of the top strategic priorities set for the college under my leadership, MCC is elevating its focus on closing economic and equity gaps.

What do you see as the biggest changes in the higher education industry in the next 3-5 years?

The impact of the pandemic will reframe how educational leaders at all levels think strategically and leverage what can be learned from the crisis. This includes how to deliver quality higher education and training to the masses innovatively and in the way students want to access learning. Perhaps, this might also be a time to re-examine the definition of what it means to be a student in the 21st century and what constitutes academic progress toward earning a credential. At MCC, we are increasing our focus on innovating from the inside out of our institution as well as how we recruit and retain students with elevated focus on improving quality of life across all ZIP codes of our community, not only as a social and moral imperative but for the long-term vibrancy of the Finger Lakes region.

What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?

My career has been marked by intentional and broad investment in the communities where I live and work through volunteerism and other forms of service. Civic engagement was modeled for me by my parents and is consistent with my core values. I now proudly serve as a newly appointed member to Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes, Greater Rochester Enterprise, and Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. In former roles, I also invested in my community through service on a variety of economic development, workforce, community-action, and educational councils and boards, as well as the executive board for a community foundation and an affiliate of a national public policy group for leadership development organization for women in higher education.