Our staff spotlight this week is Brendan Gallagher. Brendan has been working as the Student Outreach Engagement Manager at the Ginsberg Center for the past year.
What’s your educational background?
My first job in education was in k-12, teaching Kindergarten. After teaching I went on to graduate school to get my masters in College Student Affair Leadership at Grand Valley State University. Immediately following graduate school, I worked as a Behavioral Therapist with children on the autism spectrum in the metro-Detroit area. Before joining the Ginsberg Center, I worked as a community organizer with a nonprofit on the eastside of Detroit, in partnership with the University of Michigan-Dearborn- towards college and career access and readiness. Following that work, I moved into the role as Coordinator of Civic Engagement in the Office of Student Life at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
What’s your role at Ginsberg?
At the Ginsberg Center I work as the Student Outreach & Engagement Manager. In my role, I work closest with student organizations engaging in social change work within their local and global communities. Through advising, consulting, training, and outreach, my work is focused on both challenging and supporting student organizations to deepen the impact of their community-based work, through centering community voice and engaging in long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships. I also formally advise the Detroit Partnership, a student sponsored organization that facilitates service-learning opportunities in the Detroit and metro-Detroit area.
What is one of your favorite projects you have worked on at the Ginsberg Center?
What brings me the most joy is working directly with the Detroit Partnership. The ability to build strong relationships with student leaders to help them in working towards their personal and organizational goals is one of my favorite parts of the job. Much of my work before Ginsberg was in the Detroit area so being able to continue in ways, the work that I am so passionate about, through working with Detroit Partnership, has been so gratifying for me.
What are some social justice issues you’re most passionate about?
I'm a strong advocate of education reform, food security, and the environment. Food security in particular is extremely important to me. While in college at U-M Dearborn I helped to establish the Student Food Pantry. Experiencing food insecurity myself, this was a resource that not only I needed to be successful, but countless other students (including friends) needed as well.
How have you been surviving quarantine?
My wife, my dog Louis, and I welcomed our first child into the world in May, Reese Emery. We have been counting our blessings and are extremely grateful to all be in good health. The quarantine has granted my family the ability to spend more time with one another, which has been awesome. I also have been reading much more, catching up on some shows, focusing on my own personal growth, and enjoying the little things.