This is a very difficult post to write but I am a blogger, it’s what I do.
I work in Faculty Development at Full Sail University. For the last 2 years I have had the honor of working for Ani Gasti, the Director of Faculty Development. Unfortunately he passed away this past weekend.
We had known he was ill for about a month but didn’t realize how serious it was so this is quite a shock. I wanted to spend a few hundred words reflecting on who he was and what he meant to me.
Ani was a very rare individual. He was probably one of the kindest people I have ever known. He worked at Full Sail for over 8 years and I can honestly say there isn’t a single person here who didn’t like him. He was a very unusual boss to work for. His philosophy of management seemed to be to hire good people, tell them what needed to be done and then get out of their way while they did it. He never took personal credit for what Faculty Development did, and over the past 2 years we have done a lot. He preferred to give credit to his people.
He was inspirational and hard working. He was also very detail oriented. A coworker of mine said he was the best Editor he ever worked for. You knew that if you showed something to Ani, he would find a way to make it even better even while respecting your own work. I was always amazed at how he was able to tell someone they were wrong, but in such a way that you felt good about it and agree with him at the end.
I consider myself to be a smart person but there is much I don’t know about people and office politics. He was a master at seeing potential pitfalls. I tried to pay as much attention as I could to how he did this.
Most of all though, I remember him as a great teacher. He helped pioneer online learning at Full Sail and set the high standard we have today. Personally he was that kind of friend that would be honest with you, which is so rare today. People tend to avoid confrontation so what amazed me is the grace in which he could tell you about problems and get you to feel inspired to solve them. I learned so much from him! Just by his example I feel like I am a better person today than I was 2 years ago.
It is a very rare person who can make better everything they touch, but I think Ani had that rare gift. I know that Full Sail, the Faculty Development department, and his friends and family are all better for having known him.
I will miss him.