News by Mary Margaret Busby October 3, 2022
Dr. Teresa Mackey, vice president for compliance and institutional research at Holmes Community College, has been named a 2022 Honoree for the American Cancer Society. This honor recognizes a survivor who has been an active volunteer and supporter of breast cancer research to detect it early, eradicate it and prevent reoccurrence.
Dr. Mackey attended the American Cancer Society Survivor Luncheon and has been an annual participant in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event for which she has been recognized as a Pacesetter for her fundraising efforts. This year, Dr. Mackey shared her survivor speech at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kickoff. Making Strides celebrates its 30th anniversary and the local event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Mississippi Braves Trustmark Park in Pearl.
“I am honored and humbled to be recognized as an honoree,” Dr. Mackey said. “My story is similar to others that have been diagnosed with this awful disease, but the ability to share my story of faith, hope and love brings me comfort. This was my first time talking publicly about my experience with the six-letter word that sends chills, anxiety, anger, grief, tears and a range of emotions throughout a person and their family. It was no easy feat, but this journey of survivorship reminds me that we are surviving every day. I am thankful to the American Cancer Society for the recognition.”
According to the American Cancer Society’s website, an estimated 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women this year. Additionally, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. women and is the second leading cause of death from cancer among women after lung cancer. Although breast cancer is a predominantly female disease, approximately 2,710 new cases will occur among men this year.
“I urge everyone to stay abreast of their health and wellness,” Dr. Mackey said. “Eat right and stay active. If you notice any changes to your body, seek the advice of a healthcare expert and get screened. Too often we prioritize so many things in life over our health when it should be a top priority. If you are not well, you can’t do those other things.
“In the event that you are diagnosed with this awful disease, know that the American Cancer Society is here to help,” Dr. Mackey said. ‘They have a host of resources and support for survivors, thrivers and their caregivers. They provide lodging, rides to treatment and a listening ear along with funding for research so that we may one day say that there is a cure for cancer.
“I want everyone to stand up and support their efforts,” Dr. Mackey said. “I am standing on the shoulders of those survivors before me and I must strengthen and broaden my shoulders for those diagnosed after me by being an advocate and supporter. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month so let’s wear pink and canvass our communities for support.”
An accomplished leader in the field of academia, Dr. Mackey holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Community College Leadership, a Master of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Mississippi State University. Prior to her current position at Holmes, she served as vice president for instruction at East Central Community College for 10 years, and has been an adjunct mathematics instructor for Jackson State University since 2014. Before East Central, she worked for East Mississippi Community College for 12 years, holding the roles of associate dean of instruction, mathematics instructor and Phi Theta Kappa honor society advisor. Dr. Mackey also held several positions at MSU while earning her degrees and is a 2010 graduate of the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy.
As one who is no stranger to community involvement and leadership roles, Dr. Mackey is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; the Mississippi State University Department of Educational Leadership Advisory Board, the National Academic Advising Association (NACDA) and of course, a volunteer with the American Cancer Society. She and her husband, Dr. Shawn Mackey, reside in Madison and have three children: Christopher, Shawn Jr. and Matthew. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, spending time with her family and mentoring others.
“Dr. Mackey is one of our incredible survivors who continues to lead this journey every day for others who are in the fight,” said American Cancer Society Executive Director Jennifer Bennett. “She gives so much hope to others with her story of perseverance and resilience. Dr. Mackey is one of the reasons why we continue to do what we do every day, fight for the day that nobody will hear the words you have cancer! Make the call now to your doctor to have your annual breast exam.”
To learn more about the American Cancer Society and how to donate/volunteer for the organization, visit https://www.cancer.org/about-us/local/mississippi.html.
IN THIS PHOTO: Pictured are (left to right) Katrina B. Myricks, former Holmes instructor and American Cancer Society Honoree, with Dr. Teresa Mackey, Holmes vice president for compliance and institutional research and 2022 American Cancer Society Honoree.