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Former RCBC valedictorian earns employee of the year

For Gina Yanuzzi, learning is a lifelong pursuit. The end goal transcends the accumulation of formal degrees and titles. To put it plainly, Gina is curious. She enjoys learning for the sake of learning. Welding, mixology, skydiving and baking are just a handful of the skills among her growing repertoire. Her true passion, however, lies in higher education. 

As a former Rowan College at Burlington County student, Gina fully immersed herself in the college experience and formed lasting relationships with her teachers Louvenia Harmon and Pat Cohill. During that time, she was involved in theater productions, was a member of SGA and an officer of Phi Theta Kappa. She graduated as valedictorian of her class and later earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at The College of New Jersey. 

Shortly thereafter, something pulled her back to RCBC, and she accepted a part-time teaching position. Yanuzzi has since transitioned to various roles, including becoming a member of the RCBC Writing Team and assuming the role of Developmental Education Facilitator. Her impact at the college has elevated her to RCBC employee of the year. 

“What I appreciate most about RCBC are the people: both students and colleagues. Even as a student, I was drawn to the diversity at RCBC. I was in class with students of varying ages and a range of life and cultural experiences. Now I'm teaching those students, and their unique perspectives keep our conversations fresh and provocative,” Yanuzzi said. “Watching people learn and problem solve is probably one of the most rewarding things I've experienced.”

As Facilitator of Developmental Education, Yanuzzi and her colleagues reimagined how developmental courses are offered at the college so that students can receive the additional support they need without losing time toward their degrees. She helped launch the Accelerated Learning Program that allows students to enter college-level courses instead of remedial ones. 

Gina is still a student herself, currently working toward her doctoral degree in Organizational Learning, Leadership, and Innovation at Wilmington University. She directly applies her research and coursework to her roles at RCBC. 

“I'm taking the doctoral studies into real situations and learning by way of doing. I'm excited to be a part of rethinking how we operate in higher education, so the needs of our entire community are met,” Yanuzzi said. “As I continue learning, my focus is on finding innovative approaches to current and future needs within the industry. There's much to be learned from other industries. And if we can remain open-minded, we can test new approaches and find equitable and creative solutions for the system of higher education.” 

When she’s not busy learning, teaching, and problem-solving, Yanuzzi enjoys the great outdoors, especially kayaking. 

“One of my greatest loves is going on adventures with my seven nieces and nephews. Learning alongside them and creating imaginative experiences for them to enjoy is what I'd choose to do any day,” Yanuzzi mused.

Gina's story is part of RCBC’s 50 stories for 50 years. In honor of the college’s 50th anniversary, RCBC is profiling students, faculty, administrators, alumni and the college community. Anyone interested in being featured can contact rcbcnews@rcbc.edu. To follow along on social media, use #RCBC50Stories.