Yiannis Vassiliou, PhD, has been selected as vice president of student affairs at Phoenix-based GateWay Community College.
“Vassiliou’s nearly 25 years in higher education, focused on student success, enrollment management, and implementation of guided pathways principles and practices at other community colleges in the country will serve GateWay well as we embark on many new initiatives,” said Steven Gonzales, PhD, interim Maricopa County Community College District Chancellor and former GateWay president.
Vassiliou is a dean at Miami Dade College, one of the largest community college systems in the country.
Prior to MDC, Vassiliou served as associate provost at St. Thomas University, in Miami, where he launched a student success center, an academic advisement office, and increased student graduation rates.
The Miami Herald reported in 2016 that community leaders including priests, professors, and lawyers, applauded Vassiliou’s efforts to attract students to St. Thomas from Greece.
Miami-Dade County is home to a large Greek population with three orthodox churches.
Vassiliou holds a master’s degree in sports administration and management from St. Thomas University, as well as a doctorate in higher education leadership from Florida Atlantic University. He also served in the Greek armed forces and played professional soccer.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to be a part of the exciting work happening at GateWay and to lead such a dynamic and passionate team in the Student Affairs Division,” Vassiliou said.
Vassiliou told TNH that he moved to America in 1989 from Agios Konstantinos, in Fthiotida and played for Aris FC, Aegaleo, the Greek National Team, U-19, and the New Jersey Nationals.
In Miami, Vassilliou played for Hellas FC and was offered a contract in 1990 with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers and Miami Toros.
“I never played for either as those salaries were not sufficient to sustain my family, thus, I got into college coaching,” Vassiliou said, who then segued into higher education coaching women’s soccer.
He starts his new position at GateWay on Mar. 23.