By Jocelyn Visnov, Production Editor/Web Editor
Manhattan College has welcomed a new dean to the Jasper community. Marcy Peteroy-Kelly, Ph.D., now serves as the dean of the School of Science and a tenured professor of biology as of July 1, 2022.
The search committee for the new Dean of Science was led by the dean of engineering, Tim Ward, Ph.D. As chair of the search committee, Ward guided the search committee which finally led to the appointment of Peteroy-Kelly.
The search committee consisted of several professors from the school of science, representatives from each academic school, as well as two current MC students.
After working with a search firm, the committee communicated with the office of the President to narrow down the number of potential candidates. After a recommendation of a select number of candidates was made, Peteroy-Kelly was appointed to the position.
The position of Dean of Science was previously held by Janet McShane, Ph.D., who has served as interim dean of science since July of 2020. According to Dean Ward, McShane had always planned to retire once the position was filled.
“I am very much looking forward to working closely with Dean Kelly on mutually beneficial projects to move both schools forward,” Ward said.
Sarah Rosen, a senior mathematics major, served as the undergraduate student representative on the search committee. Rosen believes that student representation throughout the search process was essential.
“In discussing with these candidates I spoke out about the importance of things like support of undergraduate research, funding to programs like the Center for Academic Success, and the ability for students to connect with the prospective dean,” Rosen said. “If it were up to me, there should be more than one undergraduate student representative on each hiring committee. Even though I tried my best, it is impossible for me as one person to represent the beliefs of hundreds of students.”
Newly appointed Kelly is a New York native, having grown up not far from MC in Rockland County, NY. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from SUNY Buffalo and her Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics from Rutgers University. Kelly spent her early career inside the lab, completing research with a number of biologists working with viruses and bacteria which causes infectious diseases.
“My bench research is on respiratory infectious disease, which now is kind of cool because everybody knows my language because of this pandemic,” Kelly said.
After returning to the classroom for several years to teach biology at the undergraduate level, Kelly most recently served as the chair of biology at Pace University. Kelly is also part of a professional organization called the American Society for Microbiology.
As dean, Kelly hopes to foster an integrated community of scholars within the department and throughout the school.
“I am working to build relationships also with the School of Liberal Arts and Business and so on and so forth,” Kelly said. “But I think we certainly need to start by building our capacity in our community in science and I’m really, really looking forward to doing that.”
After adjusting to the roles and responsibilities of a dean, Kelly hopes to eventually return to the classroom to continue teaching biology as to work closer with students.
“I can envision myself getting back into the classroom, maybe teaching one class a year because I miss working with students,” she said. “I mean, you [the students] are why I got into this, right? Your energy, your curiosity, your passion. So I really, really want to get back into the classroom and kind of practice some of the things I’ve always done and maybe add some new things.”