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Podcast Blog

129: Maria Gallo—How DelVal University Learned To Soar With Blue Ocean Strategy

Posted by Andrea Simon on Apr 15, 2019 1:36:58 PM

 Hear how Maria Gallo took DelVal from struggling to thriving!

Dr. Maria Gallo is a very special interviewee for our podcast. She is president of Delaware Valley UniversityDelVal to many of usin Bucks County, PA, north of Philadelphia. For about a year now, we have been working with DelVal on their Blue Ocean Strategy® and are thrilled at the progress they're making. As you may know, from the press and our own our blogs and podcasts, colleges and universities are facing tremendous challenges today. A declining population of high school students is intensifying competition for those going on to college, and for those who do, which college? That is the big question, and one that Maria and DelVal are answering. Listen in!

DelVal: Seeing opportunities with fresh eyes, then capitalizing on them

Maria GalloWe began working with Dr. Gallo a short while after she became president of Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, PA. At that time, DelVal was a wonderful institution struggling with too few dorms, a legacy focus on agriculture and ag-related industries, and a local region with an aging population. 

As we started our Blue Ocean work with Dr. Gallo and her amazing team, we helped them identify the unmet needs of their own students and of nonusers who could be using them in innovative ways but weren't. They then dove into thinking about how to meet these unmet needs. This was very exciting to watch because it's what Blue Ocean Strategy is all about: creating a new market space and building demand for your solutions, not focusing on your competition.

As a result our work together and the commitment of DelVal's leadership, the curriculum is now heavily grounded in experiential learning. Every student completes an internship while attending DelVal, and almost every graduate has a job when they leave. Plus, their employers rave about their attitudes and their aptitudes. 

And there's more (a lot more). Under Dr. Gallo's leadership, DelVal has announced its first endowed professorship, launched a new graduate program in criminal justice, increased its international student population and invested in hydroponics and aquaponics education. It has hosted numerous renowned speakers, including CNN's Brian Stelter and NPR's David Folkenflik, added its first student member to the Board of Trustees, initiated new partnerships with Longwood Gardens and W. Atlee Burpee & Co and sent more than 100 students to the LeaderShape Institute, one of the premier leadership development programs for college students in the US. 

Now that's a turnaround! That's a Blue Ocean Strategy!

Background on Dr. Gallo 

On July 1, 2016, Dr. Maria Gallo became the 13th president of Delaware Valley University. A plant molecular biologist specializing in crop improvement, she has authored 81 refereed journal articles and nine book chapters. She is also a Fulbright Scholar and Fellow of both the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America.

Prior to coming to DelVal, Dr. Gallo served as dean and director for research and cooperative extension at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR). As dean of CTAHR, she also served as chief executive officer and worked with the Advisory Council, faculty, staff and stakeholders to create the strategic vision for the College. As CTAHR's administrative head, she was in charge of all faculty members, administrative officers and other employees statewide. And as CTAHR's chief academic, research and extension officer, she provided the vision and leadership for the College’s six interdisciplinary academic departments, four county offices and numerous research and extension facilities on 1,554 acres across Hawai`i.

Prior to joining the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, Dr. Gallo served as professor and chair of the agronomy department at the University of Florida where she led a productive teaching and research program.

Dr. Gallo currently serves on the American Council on Education's Women's Network Executive Council, the Pearl S. Buck International Board, the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce's board of directors, and the Bucks County Workforce Development Board. A native New Yorker, she earned her B.S. in agronomy from Cornell University, and both her M.S. in crop science and Ph.D. in genetics from North Carolina State University. 

6 blogs and podcasts on higher education and Blue Ocean Strategy you might enjoy:

Additional resources:

Download the 1-page synopsis of my book, "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights" here

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Topics: Blue Ocean Strategy, Higher Education

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