Faculty Member Celebrates Three Decades at Rasmussen University
By Jacquie Fiorillo on 02/09/2022
Gabe Stenzel started at Rasmussen in 1987. Little did he know that he would spend over three decades teaching, learning, supporting and growing with students and other faculty members at Rasmussen.
From a young age, Gabe knew the importance of receiving an education. His parents believed strongly in getting a higher education and pushed Gabe to be the first in his family to attend college.
Gabe attended St. John’s University at Collegeville, Minnesota, majoring in Modern Languages – German and French – and minoring in education.
In 1987, Gabe was laid off from his first job at E.F. Johnson Company, where he was the advertising manager for the components division. At the time, Rasmussen had recently bought the Mankato Business College and founded the Rasmussen Mankato campus. The campus director at the time interviewed Gabe for a full-time instructor position and gave Gabe the job.
“I was able to use my teaching minor and my 12 years of business experience at E.F. Johnson to educate students,” said Gabe. “My main goal was to prepare students for the business world with my expertise and take real-world examples and bring them into the classroom.” Gabe facilitated such learning activities as arranging mock sales meetings, teaching etiquette at mock business dinners and educating students on the different software they should know about.
Outside of the classroom, Gabe used his hobby in photography to capture Rasmussen University graduation ceremonies to give students a memory of their special day and all they had accomplished. As Rasmussen continued to grow and became accredited but the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Gabe made the decision to go for his Master’s degree, going on to receive his master’s in Technical Communication from Minnesota State University–Mankato.
Today, Gabe teaches “Communicating in Your Profession,” which prepares students for writing professional documents like letters, memos and proposals.
“One of my favorite memories is when students write, email or call me and tell me they have used their proposal project to get their company to start an in-house daycare, purchase new production equipment to make a factory more productive or purchase new dental equipment for an adolescent dental office,” said Gabe. Many of his students say that they start using what Gabe taught them at their current job and receive compliments from their managers.
Gabe says Rasmussen gave him an opportunity to grow as an instructor and, in turn, he has helped many students grow – both as individuals and in their careers – giving them opportunities to work and live productive, happy lives.
“One of the big reasons I stayed at Rasmussen for 34 years is the people I work with and the students that I have taught. Everyone I have met and worked with was an interesting individual who enriched my life and experience as an instructor,” said Gabe.
Last year, more than 30 years since he began teaching, Gabe transitioned to teaching part time and is now an adjunct professor at Rasmussen. He says he has many things planned, in addition to teaching a course per term at Rasmussen. He is now proofreading a book on small flash photography for European celebrity photographer Frank Doorhof, who owns and runs FD Studio in the Netherlands. Gabe also plans to travel to the Netherlands later this year to do two photoshoots Doorhof at his studio.
“In conjunction with the trip, I am trying to learn some Dutch. I am also building some props to use in the photoshoot and want to organize my photo files on my computer and use Photoshop® to create some images,” said Gabe. While Gabe is now starting to focus more of his time outside of the classroom by discovering new hobbies, he says he will always have a piece of Rasmussen with him, taking that spirit of learning with him everywhere he goes.
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