» Human Resources Home «

Best Bee of the Month
May/June 2014: Gail O'Kane

» Employee of the Month :: Past Award Recipients :: Nominate Someone Today!


Best Bee Award


Although Best Bees are generally awarded to faculty and staff, there was no doubt that one more Best Bee needed to be awarded for the 2013-14 academic year.  We are delighted to announce the tables have been turned, and the final Best Bee for the 2013-14 academic year goes to Dr. Gail O’Kane.  Dr. O’Kane has been serving as Interim President this past year, and her term concludes on June 30, 2014.
Explain:  Gail O’Kane entered the RCTC President Office with big shoes to fill, and she not only filled those shoes, but she took them for a marathon walk.  Gail had no real connections with RCTC, yet there has been no doubt in the eyes of the students, faculty, staff, and even the Chancellor that she was the right person with the right expertise to know what to take care of and what to leave for the permanent president.  In addition, in her short 10 months, she has truly exemplified the values of RCTC, and this is how!
Innovation:  Gail demonstrates innovation by challenging assumptions, building new working relationships, and encouraging us all to make “data informed” decisions.
Excellence:  Gail supports and celebrates excellence throughout our institutions.  She has cheered our sports teams, congratulated student-scholars, and supported our efforts to adopt new teaching strategies.   She expects excellence from all of us at RCTC, and she delivers excellent leadership and decision making.
Fun:   Gail smiles … a lot!   She is not afraid to have fun – including wearing RCTC warm-ups on Staff Development Day, joining the football team on the field at the Graphic Edge Bowl, and even dressing up to play the role of Lord Mayor at a local production of The Christmas Carol in Rochester.
Learner-Centered:  Gail is 100% committed to Student Success.  She has visited classrooms to learn about our students’ experience, and she is very involved with Student Life and many activities on campus.  On countless occasions, she has asked: “How does this benefit our students?”
Respect:  Gail demonstrates respect for all members of our college community and the greater Rochester area.   She sets an example for all of us in how to AVOID incivility, even when circumstances are challenging.
Teamwork:   Gail builds teamwork among all RCTC employees. Within the leadership team, she has built trusting relationships and productive decision making practices.   With her work in Faculty Shared Governance and with MSCF, she consistently demonstrates positive teamwork in working toward constructive solutions. And in building a culture of community, she has ensured the Staff Development Days this past year include a “sharing and showcasing” of both academic and support services.
Congratulations, Gail!  We hope that we’ve turned the tables on you with this surprise Best Bee Award!  As Best Bee, Gail is being recognized with a certificate and the employee of the month parking space that she is able to use from today until the end of her interim appointment on June 30, 2014. 



Are your colleagues or co-workers demonstrating extra effort, exemplary service, or demonstrated expertise in your department or on a committee? Are they working on a special project for their job/department/college or in the community? If so, please consider nominating them for "Best Bee of the Month."


The Employee Relations Committee (ERC) has implemented a process to recognize and reward employees for outstanding job performances. Recognitions can be awarded:

  1. Work Team Recognition. Recognition would include committee work, community service work, and department achievements and could also highlight something new the group has done or is working on. Work Teams who receive this award will be recognized through publicizing the award in the Crossings, on a "recognition" web site, possibly on our digital wall, their very own "pizza party" and gifts.
  2. Individual Recognition. This is a modified reinstatement of the "Bee Award" started by Bonnie Mercer. Recognition would include committee work, community service work, and individual achievements, extra effort, exemplary service or demonstrated expertise in their field. Individuals who receive this award will be recognized through publicizing the award in the Crossings, on the "recognition" web site, possibly on our digital wall, and gifts.
  3. Write Personal Notes. All employees are encouraged to write notes of recognition and appreciation to their colleagues and co-workers. This is a simple gesture which has a positive effect on the sender and receiver.


  • Anyone can nominate an employee or work team. The nomination remains active indefinitely.
  • The nomination form should include a narrative of why the nominee(s) merit being named Employee/Work Team {Best Bee(s)} of the Month based on criteria the nominator feels is relevant.
  • The nominee(s) may be any employee of Rochester Community and Technical College.
  • Nominations received by the 15th of the month are eligible for consideration of the following month's award.


Complete the on-line nomination form by clicking on the envelope above.


Last Updated: October 6, 2014

About RCTCAcademicsAdmissionsAthleticsServicesStudent Life