A Successful Year of Winning

Fall is well underway, it’s quite cold in the Northeast and I’m preparing to create my personal goals for 2019. I must say, 2018, has been wonderful! #Winning #3Won #Thankful

To the first man that I ever loved, my exceptional father (who raised two children alone as a single father, and saw them both off to college,) I love you, Forever! #TheLookOnHisFace

Earlier this year, on my 31st birthday, I declared 2018 to be my year of winning. It’s been just that -- from switching careers, taking on a more senior role in a new industry, to marrying the love of my life -- this year has been incredible to say the least.

I’ve always been passionate about academia. I am a proud fourth generation college grad, and as a black woman, that’s not something that I take for granted. I’m forever grateful for HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) that afforded my ancestors the ability to attend college and receive a rich and enlightening education and thereafter successful careers. {In honor of my grandparents, ‘HU, You Know’.}

As a child, I learned that education removed boundaries, provided avenues for success and provided financial stability in many cases.

Since I obtained my masters degree at age 22, I’ve served as an adjunct professor at my beloved Iona College to St. John’s University to College of New Rochelle all the way to New York University (NYU). My current graduate professor role at NYU means so much to me, because in high school NYU was unequivocally my dream school, however I did not get accepted. Years later, NYU contacted me and offered me a professor role. NYU said that they would be honored to have me. Talk about time revealing it all!

I absolutely love teaching. People often ask me what I do for fun and my answer is always, “teach!” Teaching is the most fun and rewarding role that I’ve ever had (though I imagine in future years, motherhood will change that :)).

Now, working full-time in higher-ed as Vice President and Head of Communications and Marketing at the phenomenal Barnard College of Columbia University, has been beyond rewarding. Marketing communications, events, strategic, news, crisis and digital communications, media relations, creative design, video storytelling, as well as editorial are all under my purview. I am tasked with leading the College’s strategy in showcasing how amazing Barnard is and how it is truly singular. Barnard is one of the most selective colleges in the country and is devoted to empowering women. Uniquely, it has all of the academic resources of Columbia University.

Alumnae include best-selling writers, novelists, journalists, playwrights, Pulitzer Prize winners, and poets. Barnard is one of the top national producers of scholars selected for the Fulbright Student Program. Grads have made their marks in government, arts, science, nonprofits and beyond.

And when people are asking, where are women in STEM, 35% of Barnard’s class of 2018 were science and math majors compared to about 21% nationally; and about 30% of under-represented minorities are math and science majors, compared to almost one-quarter nationally.

I will end my pitch by saying, the College offers joint degrees with Columbia University, Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Being the college sports fan that I am….Barnard is the only women’s college that offers NCAA Division I athletics through the Columbia/Barnard Athletic Consortium.

When I walk around campus, I see women from so many different backgrounds and the diversity is truly refreshing and empowering.

Oh, and my new role was featured in Forbes, absolutely a dream! D R E A M!

Minister Joanna Kanyali, Best friend, Bridesmaid Praise Dancing @ #GambrellsNY2LA

Saving the best for last, I am so very proud to say that I am formally Gabrielle Gambrell (yes, Gabrielle Gambrell :), say that 5x fast). I married to my longtime love! My wedding was beautiful and I am grateful for my 10, yes, 10 bridesmaids that got me down the aisle. As you can imagine, it wasn’t easy.

Our drink menu was a hit! Everyone said the drinks were so tasty! Thankful for my bridesmaid April Johnson, who owns Happied, she made it happen!

Our wedding took place in my hometown of Los Angeles on a rooftop in Marina del Rey overlooking a gorgeous 360 view of the city of angels. The wedding had a theme of “Broadway Takes Hollywood,” and featured live gospel, jazz and R&B performances. Our wedding paid homage to our love for the arts, as well as our hometowns of Los Angeles and New York. We had beautiful ice sculptures, vibrant lighting, Snapchat filters, that were posted on Instagram, a fabulous LA and NY themed signature drink menu, and more.

Here are some photos in case you missed them on all of my social media platforms!

Here’s to making the last few months of 2018 even greater!

In the words of Godmommy, “BIG HUGS!”


Gabrielle Gambrell