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Jeffrey Haynes: I am the Gabelli School

Profiles | May 06, 2021 |

Jeffrey Haynes joined Fordham in 2003 in Fordham IT, and moved to the Gabelli School of Business in 2007 where he now serves as Director of Information Technology, overseeing both the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses.

In this “I am the Gabelli School” feature, Jeff shares his thoughts on who and what inspires him, a moment when he felt especially proud to be part of the Gabelli School of Business, and a few thoughts on burritos.

What was a moment when you felt particularly proud to be a part of the Gabelli School of Business? 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony of Hughes Hall in September 2012. The Gabelli School of Business, just recently named after Mario Gabelli, had moved from two floors in Faber Hall to an entire building dedicated to business education. With much of the Rose Hill campus watching along, the ribbon-cutting was a great moment to witness, and it was a real sign that the Gabelli School was clearly moving in a strong direction, headed by Dean Donna Rapaccioli.

What is one of your favorite Gabelli School stories? 

One of my favorite stories was at the 2016 Consulting Cup Challenge. The winning team, representing Chipotle, presented their idea of the burriGO, a smaller-than-usual, on-the-go version of a burrito. As both a champion for innovation and a lover of burritos, I always remember how great a concept this was and how it really showed our students’ creativity. The student team really should have gotten Chipotle on board with their concept.

Is there a member of our community that has inspired you? Why? 

Nancy McCarthy, who retired from our faculty in the Communications and Media Management area. I always admired her drive through the Gabelli School’s ranks and her innate ability to mentor and coach me with the calmest demeanor and thoughtfulness. She has always been there for me with a reassuring disposition throughout my time at the Gabelli School.

Describe your role as Director of Information Technology at the Gabelli School.

I lead the teams that manage faculty technology, our website and digital media, classroom technology, live and virtual event technology, computer and data security technology, and the innovations therein.

Throughout the past year in addition to their many duties, Frandy Medina and Victoria Ilano managed our virtual competitions, including the Consulting Cups, the PVH Ground Floor Challenge, and the Business Communications Simulation, as well as our virtual speaker series and webinars, including the Gabelli Centennial Speaker Series, the Gabelli School London Speaker Series, and the Gabelli Forward Series.

Wayne Anderson led our website transition from Jadu to Terminalfour, designing and converting over two thousand web pages to the modern platform; Zixin Mao and the Gabelli Learn team helped faculty develop synchronous and asynchronous teaching methods for remote and hybrid content delivery; Olakunle Davies and Gabriel Bonilla assisted faculty in transitioning to remote and hybrid instruction with Blackboard and Zoom training and support, with Guillermo Gomez-Mendez and Anne Pestana Lee supporting in-person instruction, as faculty worked to meld the in-classroom experience with remote students.

Finally, Tristan Uy coordinated technology equipment distribution to faculty during the pandemic to facilitate working from home and online instruction. In all, they did a great job providing solutions and driving innovation in this challenging environment.

What do you feel has been your greatest contribution? 

The Gabelli School homes of Hughes Hall, 140 West 62nd Street, Martino Hall, and the London Centre are my greatest accomplishments. Leading the design, build, and integration phases of the spaces our students, faculty, and staff would ultimately call our homes has been my great joy.

The change in the student experience at Hughes Hall was gratifying. Moving from narrow and dimly light hallways in our previous location to open floor plan spacing flooded with sunlight, collaboration spaces, and strong WiFi turned Hughes Hall into a destination for business students and for many Fordham students as well.

What motivates you, and what is the best advice you’d share with someone about determination and drive? 

Helping others and completing tasks that benefit others have always motivated me. Do not let anyone convince you that a workaholic and determined individual are the same.

Any reading/media recommendations? 

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, and Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

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