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Josefina Kocovic: I am the Gabelli School

Profiles | Feb 04, 2021 |

“I am the Gabelli School” celebrates the people, moments, and events that provide us with pride and joy. Twice a month, we will feature a brief Q&A with a different member of the Gabelli School community, speaking in their own words about what the school means to them.

Since arriving at the Gabelli School in 2015, Josefina Kocovic, faculty administrative manager, has supported the associate dean of research and faculty development with strategic and administrative initiatives and overseen faculty personnel duties. But over the course of just a handful of years here, Josefina has experienced tremendous growth – personally and professionally – earning her MS in Media Management.

How did you initially join the Gabelli School?

For high school, I attended St. Catherine Academy in the Bronx, and Fordham Prep was our brother school. I remember visiting the Rose Hill campus several times and I loved walking the campus. Getting a glimpse into campus life fascinated me, and I’ll always remember the early images of students walking around wearing their Fordham shirts with pride. I went on to attend Mercy College as an undergrad, but I think those early visits here made a strong impression on me and helped me see Fordham and the Gabelli School as places where talent and intellect are nurtured – also places where dreams are achieved.

If you could tell someone one thing about the Gabelli School community, what would it be?

I would talk about the openness of our students and the caliber of our professors. During my time as a graduate student in our MS in Media Management program, I got to know several of my classmates and what stood out was how they took such pride in going to the Gabelli School. For example, in the fall of 2019, I attended a welcome reception for new MSMM students. I was so impressed by how many students discussed their experiences and their excitement about the opportunities that awaited them with the program. They talked about their classes and the Gabelli School professors with such pride. That genuinely impressed me and made me feel even more grateful to work where I do.

What are the first three words that come to mind when you think about the Gabelli School?

Family. Influential. Opportunity.

Which member of our community has inspired you the most?

There have been many people who have inspired me professionally – to be a better person, employee, co-worker, and friend. It will sound typical to say, but Dean Donna Rapaccioli inspires me the most, not only as a dean but also on a personal level. She has dedicated herself to a greater mission, all while caring for her family. As I have gotten to know her more and more over the years, I’ve become so inspired by her “humanness” in her role as a leader.

A funny story in particular took place at our holiday party in 2019, when we had a photo booth for the first time. Dean Donna put on a funny hat and mask and took photos with a group of us. To this day, I have pictures in my office that make me smile whenever I look at them. Overall, I cheer loudly for every woman whose accomplishments are recognized, because breaking through barriers shows the next generation that there is a path for them to succeed in any profession.

What makes the Gabelli School stand out among other business schools?

The Gabelli School stands out immediately because we offer one of the best learning experiences, with small class sizes, access to notable alumni, and a business with purpose approach. This is reflected in our teaching with a commitment to ethics and sustainability, and it is a big part of our identity as a Jesuit school.

When did you feel most proud to be a part of the Gabelli School?

I have always felt honored to work for the Gabelli School, especially for the Dean’s Office. However, my proudest moment was when I graduated and received my MS degree. I could not be prouder of myself, and I will always be grateful to the Gabelli School for that opportunity. It was hard work, but worth every minute.

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