Gateway Community College (GCC) is pleased to announce that Richard Rees, Business Department Chair, is the 2014 recipient of Education Excellence and Distinguished Service Award conferred by the Board of Regents for Higher Education.
The coveted award was established to “recognize employees whose performance exemplifies excellence in teaching, leadership and administration,” qualities that Richard Rees has epitomized in his 12 years of service at Gateway Community College.
Prior to his tenure at Gateway, Rees spent many years working in the private sector as a Director and CIO for a Fortune 500 company. His dream, however, was to teach. This was realized in 2002 when Rees transitioned from Director of GCC’s IT Department to the Business and Computer Science faculty, eventually becoming the Chair of the Business Department.
Rees, who considers the award a group honor with the business faculty, is proud of the department’s success. Several GCC business majors have received recognitions in the form of monetary prizes and incubation space for their entrepreneurial proposals, and the department hosts symposia to help foster relationships and internship opportunities between the Yale IT Department and GCC Computer Science students, expands events in the college’s culinary lab restaurant, Café Vincenzo, and champions entrepreneurial competitions, events and speakers around business related topics like financial literacy, entrepreneurship, economics and the employment landscape.
Rees credits his colleagues for the business department’s success with a simple and humble philosophy, “Most people would say I’ve been very successful but this is because of my colleagues. I have the best department you could ever imagine…they are the glue.” Rees describes the business faculty as “supportive, collaborative and remarkably innovative,” and credits a system of teamwork within the six subdivisions that make up Gateway’s Business Department; among them the Small Business Center, Business Office Technology, Computer Science, Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Business programs.
He also gives credit to those who have supported his work and the work of the business department, specifically GCC President Dorsey Kendrick, the college’s deans and most of all, the students.
“We’re always finding opportunities for our students,” Rees explained. “It’s a very exciting time to be at Gateway because there is a lot we can do for the community.”