The personal computer, Apple, and DOS were all the latest thing in 1981 when Jena Muntz Gallagher, ʼ85, stepped onto Meredith College’s campus.
As a mathematics major with a concentration in computer science, Gallagher knew that the major would provide her excellent job opportunities and a stellar education.
“Meredith was on the forefront of computer science and I wanted to be a part of that,” said Gallagher. “Professors Vivian Kraines and Ed Wheeler were always on top of new technology and as students we felt like we were learning from the best.”
Because of her excellent academic foundation at Meredith, Gallagher has established the first STEM scholarship endowment with a gift of $500,000. A deserving undergraduate student in the School of Natural and Mathematical Sciences will receive the Jena Muntz Gallagher STEM Scholarship. The first scholarship will be awarded in the fall of 2018 to a high school senior and will be based on need and merit.
“I wanted to see more opportunity for women in STEM majors,” said Gallagher. “There are always jobs in this area, and science and engineering coupled with liberal arts at Meredith gives you such a well-rounded education.”
Gallagher worked in the computer lab during her four years at Meredith and also took classes at N.C. State University. She interned with the Environmental Protection Agency and her first job was with Royal Insurance, where knowing SAS language helped her move up in the company. After she met her husband, Bob, who was also in a technology career, they moved to Florida. Once back in North Charlotte, they started a business together, Carlisle and Gallagher Consulting Group, a management and information technology consulting firm. After 13 years they sold the business in 2015.
“I have been given so much and feel the need to give back and be involved at Meredith,” says Gallagher. “My parents gave me the opportunity to attend college, but scholarships, financial aid, and grants are why I was able to come to Meredith.”
This scholarship will give a student the chance to move into a field that is more important today than ever.
Gallagher said, “I hope all students at Meredith talk to people with careers they are interested in, ask them about their majors, are engaging, and always lead with their strengths.”