When Sandi Gann came to Rockingham Community College in 1991, she was one of the few on campus familiar with Apple and IBM computers and their programs. Desktops computers were the latest in technology and Gann was hired to in the college’s Multimedia Learning Center to teach students how to use them.
“I loved teaching,” she said. I taught students and helped design and teach workshops for faculty and staff. It was great.”
It’s not how she envisioned her life when she enrolled in computer programming at UNCG as a nontraditional student, though. Fascinated by computers, she wanted to tap out commands and tell them what to do. But then she realized that entry level computer programmers typically worked third shift and were on call every day of the week. Not an appealing prospect for a young mother of two.
“My advisor told me I had another option: teach.” So, Gann earned a teaching certificate and landed a job usage at Reidsville High School instructing teachers on computer. And when the computers broke, Gann pulled out a soldering gun and went to work.
“It was great fun,” she said, laughing.
A forward thinker on distance learning, Gann taught RCC’s first telecourse.
Time advanced until Gann had the opportunity to move into an administrative role. Taking that opportunity opened doors that still amaze her. Gann became dean of the business division. In 2001, she chaired the SACS committee which shepherded the college through the reaccreditation process. From 2003-07, she and former dean of the humanities division, Dr. Penne Prigge, gave workshops across the state on effective leadership through the Department Chairs Institute, an appendage of North Carolina State University. In 2006 she was named Interim Vice President for Instruction at RCC.
All of it, says Gann, has given her the chance to grow and challenge herself in a career she has loved.
As dean, Gann brought new programs to RCC: medical office technology, criminal justice technology – financial crime/computer fraud, networking, and human resources management. By partnering with Davidson County Community College, she brought truck driver training. Partnerships with Forsyth Technical Community College brought Healthcare Management, Global Logistics, and Financial Services.
Now, she says, it’s time to move on. On the agenda and the horizon, are lots of days with her grandson, working in her yard, and many, many adventures traveling with her husband, Ray.