UNA candidate profile: Dr. Maria Gallo

Dr. Maria Gallo is running for a spot on the University Neighbourhoods Association’s (UNA) Board of Directors.

Gallo is the primary advisor of the UBC master in kinesiology program and the new Graduate Program in high performance coaching and technical leadership. She is also a trained coach and retired national team athlete (rugby and bobsleigh). She has lived in Wesbrook Place for almost five years.

“Being a faculty member myself, I live, work and play on this campus and every aspect of my life is touched by this campus, and so, I have a deep connection to the people here in the community,” Gallo said in an interview with The Ubyssey.

If elected, Gallo wants to provide a balance between safe, green spaces and commercial real estate.

As a parent herself, she looks forward to providing a safe neighbourhood for children to play, as well as other residents to live in.

“We hear a lot about break-ins into the buildings, a lot of people that perhaps should not have access to our buildings [that] do have access to it,” she explained.

As an immigrant to Canada from Argentina, Gallo also hopes to represent the Latino population on the Board.

In terms of the impact of COVID-19, Gallo wishes to continue and improve community engagement that was impacted. “Once we return to some sort of normalcy, it would be great to have some more community engagement,” she said.

Gallo also said that she would like to improve the involvement of students in the UNA. She plans on doing so by collecting their opinions through Qualtrics surveys and keeping them informed about what is going on in their community.

“I'm just excited to have an opportunity to represent some young families out there, and again this is my life, my world. To be a leader and have a voice is exciting to me and I'm looking forward to these opportunities,” she said.

This is part of The Ubyssey’s coverage of the UNA election. We’ll be covering the candidates, the all-candidates forum and all things UNA until polls close on November 30.