Since Dr. Maria Gallo was inducted as DelVal’s 13th president, MARCOM along with outside sources have written a great number of articles on her life and history. But as someone who is interested in the farming side of this school, I sat down with President Gallo to talk about how she envisions tying her past experiences with DVU, specifically the School of Agriculture.
I started off with some easier questions such as what she loves about DelVal and what drew her to back to the continental U.S. for the position as President of our University. In regards to this campus, her answer is what I think we all have noticed at one point in time while walking through campus, which is the beauty of a small, quaint campus, that still holds a personal touch. DelVal has core values which co-align with her own, which as both a student and worker at DVU, it is assuring to know that a president who stand behinds what the University strives for is what our ‘leader’ backs with her own beliefs. A foundation which was originated in agriculture, was one more for the ‘plus column’ in the decision making for her. In addition to all of this, she admits that the close proximity to her family is a big pull, a stronger one than the warmth, fun, and everything else that Hawaii offered.
We do have a lot going for us, and since this interview pertained specifically to the School of Ag, I wanted to know from a newer perspective what we are doing right. I think that being so embedded in the different departments, it is hard to see what is working and we should continue on with, what isn’t working, what might work but we just need to push, and what our future might hold. President acknowledges that DVU has a strong history and reputation backed with successful alumni.
But what I have noticed, as much as I love this school, we have a tendency to pick up new projects, which if they don’t work at first, we drop it like a hot potato. So let’s keep focusing and strengthening what is already there. Let’s not give up all too quickly. And to top it all off, let’s use our student experiences to achieve this. So what else might the future of agriculture have at DVU? Well, it’s DVU, the opportunities are abundant, but some possibilities are a master’s program in plant science or at least certification programs.
And in between these loaded questions, it was wonderful to get to know our president on a personal level where we shared stories of life, work, travel, and ones we already have of DVU. She does have an open door policy, so I really encourage you to stop in if it’s open. She’s a hoot and so incredibly friendly. I mean look, we even did a Snapchat Face-Swap.