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Gavin Ireland


Gavin Ireland

While he is not a native Brooklynite, after spending about half his life here, Jamaican-born Gavin Ireland feels close to being one. “New York City has always felt like a second home to me. I have fond memories of playing basketball in countless city parks during the summer vacations I spent here,” he recalled. “I was a student-athlete in my home country and even played professional basketball. I had big dreams of making it to the NBA, so my next logical step after high school was to enroll in college in the U.S. After doing my research and applying to countless scholarships at all the big-name colleges and universities, the offers I received did not bring me any closer to realizing my dreams.”

While he was offered many partial scholarships, the cost of attending college was still outside of his family’s reach. “A mentor suggested I look into a community college because it would be more affordable and, if I did well academically and athletically, I could unlock better transfer scholarship opportunities,” he shared. “I chose Kingsborough Community College because I had family who resided in Brooklyn and were willing to provide me with housing for the duration of my studies.”

In the fall of 2002, Ireland enrolled at KCC as an international student. “Attending Kingsborough was the best decision I made. The college provided much-needed support and services, mentorships, and long-lasting friendships. The support I received from professors provided me with the confidence and development I needed to excel at KCC and at every level of education thereafter. It laid the foundation that has propelled me into the career path and successes I have achieved to date.”

Passionate about travel, food, and experiencing different cultures, he earned an associate degree in tourism and hospitality while working as a college assistant at KCC and worked part- and full-time in the hospitality industry while earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Monroe College.

Ireland returned to KCC in 2006 to serve as a part-time TAP advisor in the Financial Aid Office while pursuing an MBA at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, where he studied organizational behavior with a minor in international business. During that time, he learned the requirements of every major and the impact advisement has on students’ academic and graduation plans. “That experience served a pivotal role in my career path because it gave me invaluable insight into the amazing work that we do to advise and guide our students while ensuring students don’t risk losing their TAP awards and the college remains compliant with federal and state regulations,” he said.

He started a full-time position in the International Student Affairs Office in 2012. “This was full circle for me. Returning to where I started my academic career, I now had the opportunity to have a positive impact on our current and prospective international students.”

VP Johana Rivera tapped him in 2019 to oversee the Admissions Information Center, in addition to his other duties. The pandemic forced all operations to go remote shortly after. “Despite the complexities, I am happy to say that my team successfully pivoted and made continuous adjustments as we navigated this new normal of remote work while maintaining our focus on servicing our students. The obstacles we faced and overcame made us a stronger and more cohesive unit.”

Ireland recently received a promotion to interim assistant vice president of enrollment, where he will continue to support various enrollment management areas, including international student affairs, and concentrate on building community partnerships that will boost enrollment.

He’s looking forward to working with and learning from VP Rivera. “Under her leadership, I have learned the true meaning of hard work, perseverance, and teamwork. Her mentorship has been invaluable to the development of countless staff members. She exemplifies the meaning of ‘leading by example.’”

When not at work, the devoted father and foodie enjoys traveling (often for food), cooking, listening to all genres of music, and playing sports. He’s looking forward to the challenges the new position brings, especially considering the national trend of declining enrollment.

“As a KCC alum, I have a great sense of pride and gratitude for the College. Working here, I often draw from my own experience as a student. I remember vividly how empowering it was for me to feel truly supported by the faculty and staff at KCC. That support motivated me to strive to be my best. I hope to pay it forward and replicate those positive experiences I had for our current and prospective students.”