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COSI CEO and Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Executive Director to Headline Otterbein University’s Commencement Ceremonies

February 28, 2018
Otterbein University

Westerville, OH—Otterbein University has selected Frederic Bertley, president and chief executive officer of COSI, as its undergraduate commencement speaker and Daniel Keenan, executive director of the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, as its graduate commencement speaker for the 2018 commencement weekend, April 28-29.

“We are fortunate to welcome two outstanding professionals who embody the values of our university,” said Otterbein President Kathy Krendl. “Both Frederic and Daniel have much wisdom to share with our graduates as they embark on their journeys into the world.”

Bertley will address the class of 2018 at the University’s undergraduate commencement ceremony at noon on Sunday, April 29, in the Rike Center on the Otterbein campus. 

Frederic Bertley was named president and CEO of COSI in Columbus in January of 2017. In his role, he imagines COSI as the epicenter for all things scientific for the Columbus community.

Prior to joining COSI, Bertley was senior vice president for science and education with the renowned Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where he directed a diverse portfolio of visionary initiatives supporting innovation in STEM learning and science communication. He oversaw departments and programs that capture the history and legacy of The Franklin Institute, like the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Awards Program, and support research-based projects. He founded and directed the Color of Science, which highlights the incredible contributions of women and persons of color to modern day science and engineering. He also played a critical role in community outreach, partnerships and fundraising practices of the Institute.

Bertley has a strong record in academia, studying physiology, mathematics, and the history of science as an undergraduate student. Following his bachelor’s degree, he obtained a doctorate degree in immunology, both from McGill University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School.

After graduating from McGill, Bertley turned his attention to the lack of primary healthcare, preventative medicine, and basic vaccines in developing nations. He managed multinational teams in Haiti, The Sudan, and the Canadian Arctic. He continued this focus by joining a vaccine research group at Harvard Medical School, focusing on the development of DNA vaccines for HIV/AIDS.

Bertley has lectured on a variety of science and education topics at universities, colleges, cultural institutions, and government agencies throughout the world. He has been a keynote and invited speaker at several distinguished institutions including the United Nations, White House, U.S. Department of Interior, National Academy of Sciences, and the National Science Foundation in the U.S., as well as in Canada, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, and Africa. He sits on numerous boards including Health NewsWorks, iPRAXIS, and the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement (PYPM). He also is a member of the selection committee for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Public Engagement with Science Award.

Bertley has received numerous honors, including: Dell Inc. Inspire 100 World Changers, Harvard Medical School Dean’s Service Award, Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Philadelphia Business Journal Minority Business Leader of The Year, The President’s Award (Merck), Citation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and two Mid-Atlantic, National Academy of Television and Science EMMYs.

Daniel Keenan will speak at the graduate commencement ceremony at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, in the Rike Center on the Otterbein campus.

Keenan was named the executive director of the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation in Cleveland in August 2015, after serving as superintendent of the Westlake City Schools for seven years. 

His prestigious 21-year tenure in public schools included teaching and coaching in three school districts in Indiana and Ohio and serving as an administrator in three northeast Ohio school districts.

Keenan received Cleveland State University’s Distinguished Alumni Award for his contributions to public education in 2012 and was named Ohio’s superintendent of the year by the Buckeye Association of School Administrators in 2014. 

He graduated from Purdue University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1993 and a master’s degree in education administration with an emphasis in gifted education in 1995. In 2005, he was awarded the doctor of philosophy degree in urban education from Cleveland State University.

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