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Author: The BCW

Iona University Announces Gabelli Center for Teaching & Learning 

BCW Member Iona University unveiled plans this week for the new Gabelli Center for Teaching & Learning. The new center is envisioned as a vibrant hub for institutional innovation, faculty development and thought leadership.

It was made possible through the generosity of Marc Gabelli, of Gabelli Group, and his mother, Elaine Madonna Gabelli, a longtime Catholic elementary school teacher, of the EMG Madonna Foundation. The EMG Madonna Foundation is committed to supporting and strengthening Catholic education in the New York City area through grants and active student involvement.  

The Gabelli Center’s first initiative will be AI@Iona, an institutional commitment to stimulate, support and coordinate faculty and student engagement with the powerful and rapidly evolving capabilities of artificial intelligence.  

“Teaching and learning are always works in progress. From the start, that mindset will inform the Gabelli Center’s mission and methods,” said Iona University President Seamus Carey, Ph.D. “It is imperative that Iona be nimble, imaginative and collaborative in our approach to AI. At the same time, our fundamental dedication to the transformative power of teaching and learning remains paramount. The emergence of AI will not only reshape the nature of work, but also call into question long-standing assumptions about the nature and transmission of knowledge. This provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us to reexamine our understanding and pursuit of teaching and learning.”  

The Gabelli Center will also sponsor a new Catholic Teacher Corps program, launched to provide a pipeline of well-prepared, passionate educators who are committed to teaching in New York’s K-12 Catholic schools. Students selected for the program as Gabelli Certa Scholars will receive scholarships and tuition assistance to pursue a master’s degree in education from Iona.  

“We are excited to be working with the team at Iona,” said Marc Gabelli. “Our commitment is to reinvigorate the strengths of Catholic education in the New York area and have a great alignment with the objectives of Iona.”  

The Gabelli Center will also sponsor several annual Presidential Fellowships to fund Iona faculty research and pedagogical innovation, with associated grants to additional faculty. It will also sponsor conferences, workshops and internal and external speaker series to share its explorations and findings with other educators, including from local schools and districts serving students of all ages. The Center will have a dedicated physical space in a central location on campus in Ryan Library, providing access to AI tools, technical support and librarian consultation.

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