Commencement Participants

Student Moderators

Gabrielle Garcia and Kwasi Tré, graduating students

Student Speaker

Xavier Torres de Janon, graduating student

Alumni Speaker

Carol Varney 90F

Faculty Toast

Amy Jordan, associate professor of African American history

Staff Toast

Jordan Perry, director of wellness promotion

Keynote Speaker

Physician and scientist Dr. Emily B. Wong will be the speaker at Hampshire College's 2016 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14 at 11 a.m. on the Harold F. Johnson Library Lawn.

Dr. Emily Wong

Emily B. Wong is a physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a scientist who studies HIV and TB immunology in Durban, South Africa. Dr. Wong received her A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard College in History and Literature and received her M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She continued her medical training in Internal Medicine at University of California San Francisco and in Infectious Diseases at the combined Harvard program at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Throughout her medical training she has tried to answer questions about the devastating HIV and TB co-epidemics in South Africa. She spent two years as a Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa conducting an autopsy study to determine the causes of patients with HIV who died despite being on antiretroviral therapy. In 2011, she and her family moved to Durban, South Africa and she has been based primarily at the KwaZulu Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) where she has pursued post-doctoral training in human HIV and TB immunology.

Dr. Wong's current research focuses on trying to understand the immune response to tuberculosis at the site of immune challenge: the respiratory mucosa. Her goal is to uncover mechanisms of control that will provide new insights for TB vaccine design. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Harvard Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), and a Burroughs Welcome Fund/American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Postdoctoral Fellowship in Tropical Infectious Diseases support her work.

In addition to medicine and science, Dr. Wong has a strong interest in mentoring women and African scientists. She enjoys counseling high school students through the university application process and supervising trainees in the laboratory. She and her husband, who is the founder of a technology education non-profit named CodeMakers (, enjoy living in Durban with their two young children, Charlie and Eleanor. They love the natural beauty of their corner of the world and spend the weekends hiking, snorkeling, camping, and trying to find animals in the bush.

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