Barbara Combes Ingrassia

Librarian and Educator, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Well, again I think I took the safe way, I didn’t take risks, I wasn’t a risk taker. I did what was expected. I think that I sort of fell into the work that I do, so I continue to look for my purpose and remind myself that life is a journey; it’s not a destination, you don’t arrive, you’re always continuing that journey.


Barbara Ingrassia was born in 1952 in New York. Her father had an Associate’s Degree in rural engineering and her mother had a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Few parents at this time had degrees, and both of hers did, so she was very proud of them. Barbara received a Bachelor’s Degree with a secondary in Social Studies from University of New York Geneseo. She also received her Master’s Degree in Library Sciences at SUNY Geneseo. She looked at education as her job and she put all her efforts into her studies. She received a scholarship for school and it was a good experience for her first time in a town setting, which was different from the farm life she was used to. She continued her interest in education with librarian jobs at multiple schools such as, Clark University, UMass Medical, and a Community College in West Virginia. She has seen a lot of progress in women’s liberation over the past years and has been active in the United Methodist Women.

Interview Date: 
November 13, 2009
Interview Focus: