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The Year in Review: Our Top Stories of 2023

We had a lot to be #MMCProud of in the past year. Here are just a few highlights—for more great news about our community, visit the News & Events page and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

An MMC research study made global headlines.
A study by an MMC faculty-student research team on pathogens tracked indoors from city sidewalks garnered international interest, with news outlets on five continents—and late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert—reporting the findings. 

MMC science students won big at a regional symposium.
In other great science news, MMC Biology students shone in April at the 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in Biological and Chemical Sciences, where they presented original research and won first place in two categories.


MMC resumed its Crossing Borders conference for the first time since the pandemic.
The College has held Crossing Borders, a biennial academic conference, at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for women since 2006. The event allows incarcerated students in MMC’s prison education programs to meet face-to-face with peers from 71st Street. But when the pandemic shuttered plans for a 2020 symposium, it led to the longest stretch ever between conferences—until we met in person again this year.


We saw familiar faces in pivotal new positions.
In June, Peter Naccarato, Ph.D., was appointed MMC’s Interim President in a unanimous decision by the Board of Trustees. Naccarato, who began his career at MMC nearly 25 years ago as a faculty member, has held numerous leadership positions at the College, most recently as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty and a member of the President’s Cabinet.

He was succeeded in those roles by Professor Katie Langan, who took office as Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs / Dean of the Faculty in July. An MMC alumna, Langan has served in various leadership positions at the College for 30 years, first as Chair of the Department of Dance and more recently as Chair of the Division of Visual and Performing Arts.


We sent off more than 300 new grads, including 27 from the College’s prison education programs.
MMC celebrated the Class of 2023 at its 74th commencement exercises on May 19 and, a week later, conferred degrees on students in MMC’s prison education programs during ceremonies at the Bedford Hills and Taconic correctional facilities for women.


MMC alums ruled at the 2023 Tony Awards.
We nearly lost count of all the incredible alums who were nominated, took home prizes, performed, or were somehow involved in making theatre history at the Tony Awards in June.

We greeted new members of the community.
In 2023, we ushered in the Class of 2027, welcomed Hayden Greene as the College’s new associate dean of students and director of the Intercultural Center, and said hello to new faculty!

We hosted a Pulitzer Prize winner and had an important conversation about climate change.

Science journalist Elizabeth Kolbert, whose book The Sixth Extinction argues that the earth is in the midst of a man-made extinction event and garnered her a Pulitzer Prize, served as the speaker of MMC’s 2023 Barry Commoner Lecture on the Environment.


A theatre and screen star proved you can always come home.
Jason Gotay ’11, who has starred in projects such as Bring It On: The Musical and Max’s Gossip Girl reboot, returned to MMC to teach a new Theatre class that walks students through the development and performance of original material.


MMC’s Stand Up, Speak Out Festival returned, bridging campuses miles and worlds apart.
We ended the year with one of our favorite events: MMC’s annual Stand Up, Speak Out Arts and Social Justice Festival. It brings together classes from MMC’s Bedford Hills College Program and  71st Street for an academic exchange that shows that while MMC has many learning sites, we are one campus.

Published: December 19, 2023