Dr. DeAnna R. Burt-Nanna
President, Monroe Community College
Years in current role: 9 months
What was your biggest success in 2021?
Becoming MCC’s sixth president in May 2021 and meeting colleagues, students and community leaders was an honor that continues to surpass expectations. My husband, Joseph Nanna, and I were so warmly welcomed, we quickly called Rochester “home.” My tenure began with a celebration of the success of over 1,800 graduates in June, followed by welcoming nearly 9,000 students to MCC in the fall. As one of the most innovative and inspiring community colleges in the nation, MCC is focused on meeting the educational and holistic needs of our students. Their success correlates with our community’s success.
What are your expectations for 2022?
I’m looking forward to congratulating in person members of the Class of 2022 at the Blue Cross Arena, welcoming students and employers to the Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center’s grand opening on our Downtown Campus, cheering on the Rochester NY Football Club during their first home game on John L. DiMarco Field on our Brighton Campus, and celebrating the 60th anniversary of MCC opening its doors to students. I’m also looking forward to hearing input from a cross-section of our community as we finalize the 2022-2027 strategic plan to chart a course for our college’s priorities for the next five years.
What is your favorite thing about the Rochester community?
Some of the best things about Rochester are the rich diversity of people and cultures, its natural beauty, and its dynamic history as an incubator of social justice and innovation. As a foodie, I enjoy cooking and sampling different cuisines. I have a list of must-try local eateries compiled from recommendations from community members. Joseph and I also love spending time at parks in Rochester and along Lake Ontario and visiting shops and restaurants along the Erie Canal. Day trips to area villages and towns are always a pleasure. My role as MCC president affords me increased opportunities to meet community leaders committed to social justice and the belief that increasing access to higher education and training is key to social mobility and our shared prosperity.
If time were no issue, what would you do to help the community that you aren’t already doing?
Teaching a course at a community college inspired me to pursue a career in higher education, so I would be thrilled to one day return to the classroom. I’m interested in connecting especially with young people who are interested in STEM fields. 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.
This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 100 list for 2022. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at rbj.net.