Dr. Betty A. Rosa (M.S. ‘78) Will Be Speaker and Receive an Honorary Doctorate at Lehman College’s 49th Commencement, June 1

Dr. Betty A. Rosa, the Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, will deliver the Commencement address at the 49th Commencement at Lehman College on Thursday, June 1, which will be held on the South Lawn at 10 a.m. Dr. Rosa is also a proud alumna of the Lehman College, where she earned a Masters in Bilingual Education.

That same day, Dr. Rosa will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for her work on behalf of New York City public schoolchildren, particularly in the Bronx, where she has worked as a teacher and a principal, before becoming one of New York State’s 17 Regents in 2008. She is currently serving her second five-year term as the Regent of Judicial District XII. In March 2016, she was elected by her Board of Regents colleagues as Chancellor for a three-year term.

“Throughout her entire career, Dr. Betty Rosa has been a strong advocate of educational initiatives that benefit all students, including those that have been historically underserved,” said Lehman College President José Luis Cruz. “She is a Lehman College alumna with a Master’s of Science degree and always a welcome presence on campus. We are delighted that she is returning to deliver the 2017 Commencement Address, knowing well enough how much her professional vitality and resolve are needed these days.”

Born in New York City but raised for the first ten years of her life in Puerto Rico, Dr. Rosa attended public elementary and junior high schools in the Bronx (Districts 9 and 10) before graduating from St. Helena’s High School, now Monsignor Scanlon High School, in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx.

She received a B.A. in psychology from the City College of New York and holds two Master of Science in Education degrees, one in Administration and Supervision and the other in Bilingual Education from the City College of New York and Lehman College respectively. She also received an Ed.M. and Ed.D. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University.

Dr. Rosa worked in the N.Y.C. Department of Education in a wide array of jobs: bilingual paraprofessional; teacher and reading coordinator; and as an assistant principal and principal in special education. During that time she also developed an integrated linguistic model for multilingual and multicultural schools for both general and special education populations; and she also served as the principal of I.S. 218, a full-service community school in partnership with the Children’s Aid Society in District 6.

Former New York City Schools Chancellor Rudy Crew appointed Dr. Rosa to the position of Superintendent of District 8 in the Bronx, which consisted of approximately 25,000 students and 30 schools encompassing neighborhoods of the South Bronx including Soundview and Hunts Point and the northeast section of the Bronx known as Throggs Neck.

Chancellor Harold Levy later appointed Dr. Rosa to serve as the Senior Superintendent for the Bronx. One of the schools Dr. Rosa founded as superintendent, M.S. 101 (Maritime Academy for Science and Technology), became the top ranked middle school in New York City based on New York State examination results.

She was elected to a four-year term to the Alumni Council of Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and also appointed to a three-year term to the Principal-Site Administrator Advisory Committee of the American Association of School Administrators. Dr. Rosa also served as a consulting member of the Educational Research Development Institute and is currently a member of the New York Team of the National Education Policy Center’s Schools of Opportunity project.

Since 2015, Dr. Rosa has been honored with the Champions of Education Leadership Award from the Alliance for Quality Education, Woman of the Year Award from the New York League of Puerto Rican Women, Heimlich Community Service Award from the Ben Franklin Reform Democratic Club, Transformative Education Leadership Award from the International Chartership High School, Education Leadership Award from the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Leadership in Education Award from the Association of Dominican-American Supervisors and Administrators, Women of Distinction Award from the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, and the Latina of the Year Award from the New York State Assembly and Senate’s Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force.