In the early 1980s when Carolina Gallo, BA 84, studied political science at Concordia, she was an advocate for social justice.
More than 35 years later, not much has changed.
As vice-president of Government and Institutional Relations Canada for global engineering firm ABB Power Grids, Gallo combines her energy and passion with her commitment to the environment to help navigate her industry towards sustainable solutions.
Following graduation from Concordia, Gallo set her sights on a law degree at the Université de Montréal, knowing it would put her in a better position to champion the causes close to her heart, particularly the promotion of women.
In serving on the advisory board of the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science, Gallo found inspiration in the School’s chief supporter and namesake. She credits Gina Cody, MEng 81, PhD 89, for galvanizing the university through her $15-million gift in support of students and research, while encouraging inclusiveness and diversity.
“She has flipped perceptions about women,” Gallo said. “Her commitment, her passion, her leadership, her message of positivity, is a beacon of light.”
Motivated to pay it forward
Gallo recently acted on a long-held desire to not only pay tribute to the university that shaped her social conscience, but to honour Gina Cody as well.
She established the Carolina Gallo Scholarship for Women in Engineering and Computer Science to encourage young women to study in fields still dominated by men. The scholarship honours the grandmother after whom she is named.
“My grandmother was a strong and beautiful woman,” Gallo said. “She lived and suffered through the war and came to Canada to make sure we had all the opportunities available to us. It is in gratitude that I created this scholarship in her name.”
Gallo hopes the scholarship inspires and supports young women in engineering and computer science to become agents of change — and she believes Concordia is the best place to start.
“I am very proud of what Concordia has become,” she said. “It made me who I am, and it continues to demonstrate what it means to be progressive, open and inclusive. These are the three values that you need to survive in this world. In 2020, Concordia is the coolest place to be.”