Kevin Buel, Director of Information Technologies at Nyack College, is set to retire at the end of June. He’s been an integral part of the institution for 34 years, and he will be missed. He is known for his patience and work ethic, which he attributes to growing up on a dairy farm in Upstate New York.
Lessons From The Farm
“It’s never harder than working on a farm. If you don’t have the work ethic, you won’t make it.” Working in Information Technology can be complex, as it’s always evolving, but to Kevin, those long days being raised on a small Catskills farm had him prepared for anything. “I was the typical farm boy. With a pitchfork in hand. It’s hard work. The sweating, the cold, the heat, the smells. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I originally planned on becoming a pastor. Ended up in computers. Only God could work through this.”
From Dairy to MS-DOS
Kevin first heard of Nyack College in the 80s from his Christian & Missionary Alliance trained pastor. He attended Nyack from 1984-1988, where he completed a BA in Social Studies. “Computers were just coming on. The Professor of Business at the time was given money to start a computer class. I ran the lab, and I had to learn fast. I pretty much got pulled into the job in ‘88.” An aspect of Kevin’s journey that people may not be aware of is that he left Nyack College for a year. He never felt fully comfortable away from the community. “I missed it. I missed the faith. Ron Ruegsegger and Gary Wissinger were here, and they couldn’t do it all. They asked me to come back, and I never really felt God’s calling where I was, so I told them I’d be there. As time went on it really exploded, and the rest is history.” It became clear that Information Technology needed more staff, and the camaraderie is something that Kevin will surely miss. “We brought Augie Mascaro over from Maintenance. He helped a lot with wiring. He fit in spaces that I never could. Rick Santiago was in Admissions, and he helped us work with folks who needed data. Sam Lim was great, and now Henok has been a blessing to the Nyack College community. Just the camaraderie we all had, us praying together. Such very little turnover. Working with friends along the way. It’s been amazing.” Kevin loved working in such an expanding industry, but people often forget that they only get called upon when something goes awry. “You need to be in the mindset of helping. They’re your brother and sister in Christ. Need to be patient and work through it with them.” What does Kevin use as a stress reliever? It once again goes back to his time on the farm.
Ministry Through A Motorcycle
“I got a motorcycle at a young age on the farm, and it helped me make a lot of new friends. I always used one until I reached about 30 years old. I was at a different phase. Married, had a son. It was put away for about 18 years.” The love for motorcycles, and God, never wavered for Kevin. “Once I got back into riding, I joined the Christian Motorcyclist Association. It’s a ministry. I attend a lot of rallies and it’s literally at a gas station. They see me wearing the Christian vest. No mistaking what I’m about. Some get drawn, some shy away. I see it as a full-time ministry anywhere I go. Now they wait for me to pray before we start riding. I’m the prayer guy. I love it.”
What’s next for Kevin? “I plan to do a lot of riding this summer. There are a lot of rallies I can minister at. I may even try to find some part-time work. It doesn’t even have to be in computers. My wife and I plan to do a lot of traveling when she retires next year. I don’t know what else God has in store for me, but He always has something for me to do and it’s exciting.
Congratulations to Kevin Buel on his well deserved retirement, and thank you for all of your faithful service to the Nyack College community!
For the full interview please tune into WNYK Warrior Radio on Tuesday, June 28, at 3:00 p.m.