About kite founder, dr. maria gallo

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Maria is passionate about alumni potential.


Dr. Maria Gallo is a researcher and practitioner who established KITE, a social enterprise to support philanthropy research and alumni education —Keep in Touch Education.

Maria has almost 20 years of experience in advancement work, most recently as Director of Lifelong Learning and Engagement with St Angela’s College, Sligo (A College of the National University of Ireland, Galway - NUI Galway). She obtained her doctorate in higher education from the University of Sheffield with her thesis focusing on advancement in Irish higher education. Her research on an innovative alumni relationship building cycle, was awarded the HS Warwick Outstanding Research Publication Award from CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education). Her research interests are in philanthropy, in particular volunteering and advancement (alumni relations, communications and fundraising). As alumni relations and advancement becomes increasingly popular across the globe, Maria has received requests for her insight and alumni relations research models from institutions worldwide. She recently spoke on the topic of alumni capital at the CASE Europe Annual Conference in August 2018. She has one of only a handful of TEDx talks on alumni you can view here: https://bit.ly/2MhmopA

Maria also worked in alumni relations and advancement both at University College Dublin and the University of Toronto. She also established the alumni associations at Letterkenny Institute of Technology and the research to establish the alumni association for the School of Public Administration, University of Victoria, Canada.

Maria is a proud and active member of her multitude of alma maters. She graduated from the University of St Michael’s College- University of Toronto and is the alumni representative for Ireland for the university. She completed a Diploma at the University of Victoria and MA from the Institute of Public Administration (National University of Ireland). Following her doctorate with University of Sheffield, Maria also completed a postgraduate certificate in teaching and learning in higher education with NUI Galway. From Junior Achievement to Toastmasters, Google RISE Awards to Encounters with Canada, Maria has maintained an affinity with so many special alma maters as an alumna.

Currently Maria has several academic publications on alumni relations and philanthropy in Ireland, including co-authoring the Giving in Europe submission chapter on Ireland. As an active member of ERNOP (European Research Network on Philanthropy), Maria was recently invited to sit on an expert panel for the pre-conference PhD in philanthropy event for the ERNOP Conference in Copenhagen.

Previously as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Sligo Volunteer Centre, Maria was involved in the successful bid for Sligo’s designation of European Volunteering Capital in 2017. Maria lives with her husband and two children in County Donegal, Ireland named National Geographic’s coolest location to visit in 2017.

I would love to hear from you!

Connect with Maria: LinkedIn
Email: maria@keepintoucheducation.com