Gail O. Mellow
Dr. Gail O. Mellow has served as President of LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens since 2000. A member of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, LaGuardia is a recognized leader among community colleges for conceptualizing and launching programs and teaching methods that have become pilots for the nation. An expert on the history, development and future of the American community college, Dr. Mellow co- authored Minding the Dream: The Process and Practice of the American Community College (Rowman & Littlefield, 2nd ed. 2014) and has written numerous articles and editorials about higher education in America.
A community college graduate, Dr. Mellow is ardent in her work to raise the profile of community colleges. Since she joined LaGuardia, the College has gained increasing recognition, named one of the Top Three Large Community Colleges by the Community College Survey of Student Engagement in 2003 and winning numerous awards, including the prestigious 2006 MetLife Foundation Community College Excellence Award for Service to Underserved Students and was awarded a highly competitive First in the World grant by the U.S. Department of Education in 2014. Most recently, Dr. Mellow was presented the 2016 NASPA President’s Award for advancing the quality of student life on campus.
Dr. Mellow is pioneering work in developmental instruction methods as co-creator of Taking College Teaching Seriously. With current support from the Kresge Foundation and initial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this project seeks to increase college completion rates by helping faculty improve their teaching through online collaborative professional development as a way for faculty to both think about what they do in their classrooms and describe it to their colleagues. Dr. Mellow was invited to join President Obama at the 2014 White House College Opportunity Day of Action, where she presented her work to a breakout session on college completion.
Dr. Mellow received an A. A. from Jamestown Community College, a B.A. from SUNY Albany, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from George Washington University.