President, LaGuardia Community College
Dr. Gail Mellow has worked extensively in several East Coast colleges and universities.
What one factor is most important to success?
To believe in the purpose of your endeavor, and to bring passion and commitment to its achievement.
What do you look for in an employee?
Intelligence, dedication to our purpose of being the best community college in the world, flexibility, and a vision for the future.
What’s the best way to save money?
Get smarter! Read everything you can about what you spend money on, and vehicles for saving money.
What’s the best way to spend money?
I love to spend money on the small things that give me joy every day—a great bunch of peonies or a new pen—something that makes you smile many times during the week.
What’s your greatest pleasure?
Bringing education to the most diverse group of students ever assembled in the world. We have students from over 159 different countries who speak over 110 different languages. They have such determination to succeed, and LaGuardia Community College is a great partner for them.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Drink tea and read at least one page of Spanish, which I’m trying to learn.
How do you deal with stress?
A long run.
What one lesson do you hope to pass on to your children?
That you have to love what you do, and then become an advocate so that others can learn to love it, too.
How do you bounce back from adversity?
I think of my students and how many more trials they have born than I ever will, and I feel sheepishly embarrassed to be so troubled by some things that, in the long run, don’t matter.
What’s your favorite thing about Queens?
Eating. And listening to the languages on the street. I wish I could compose jazz, because the pattern and rhythm of Queens’ speech is a great inspiration for music.
A social psychologist with extensive experience in higher education, Dr. Gail Mellow is president of LaGuardia Community College. She has served in various capacities at community colleges in Maryland, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey: as an adjunct faculty, tenured faculty, Academic Dean, Provost and President. In addition, she was the Director of the Women’s Center at the University of Connecticut and the Director of the Project on Women and Technology.
Active in community affairs, Mellow has served as a gubernatorial appointee to the NJ State Employment and Training Commission, a member of the NJ Commission on Higher Education Technology Committee, a member of the Executive Committee of the Gloucester County Workforce Investment Board, the Chair of the Northeast Connecticut Economic Alliance, as well as on the Boards of many civic organizations. She serves on several national higher education boards and commissions, including the American Association for Higher Education, the American Council of Education, and the American Association for Community Colleges.
Dr. Mellow is the co-author of two books, and over 20 articles on community colleges, faculty evaluation, job training technology and teaching and learning. She received an Associates Degree from Jamestown Community College, a Baccalaureate from SUNY Albany, and her Master’s and Doctorate from George Washington University.