With an undergraduate degree in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MA in English from NC State, Gala spent two decades as a freelance journalist, writing about business, real estate, biotech, and the restaurant and medical industries. A columnist for the Cary News for 15 years, most recently she wrote the News & Observer’s Tar Heel of the Week column. Gala taught at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism for six years before coming back “home” to State. In addition to teaching, Gala works one-on-one as a creative writing therapy coach with Neuro Care Community and Wounded Warriors, helping military veterans with TBI and PTSD express themselves through writing.
In addition to a 4-course load each semester, Gala teaches a Study Abroad class (Summer Session II) in Prague, Czechia: “The Struggle of the Free Press: Fake News and Conspiracy Theories.” IPGK 295 is worth 3 GEP credit hours for International Perspectives or Global Knowledge. Students compare and contrast the press freedom rankings for both the U.S. and the Czech Republic, examining why Czechia scores higher and exploring how history, economics and politics affect the industry in both countries. Students tour the global news organization Radio Free Europe to gain a first-hand look at how the organization is working to dispel Russian propaganda that’s fueling the Ukraine war.
In 2018, Gala served as a student writing coach for UNC-Chapel Hill’s “Aftermath” project in Puerto Rico, a 10-day trip that covered the after-effects of the 2017 landfall of Hurricane Maria. The project included 25 students and three other coaches who helped students create stories across multiple platforms for MEJO 584: Interactive Journalism. The project covered healthcare, electricity, biodiversity, coal ash and water, earning the Online News Association’s David Teeuwen Student Journalism Award. All five pieces were published in The Huffington Post.
- M/W: By Appointment
Professional Activities and Research
Grant recipient from NC State’s Global Engagement Center for press freedom research and study abroad in Prague, Czechia. Serves on the Student Media Advisory Board for Technician, WKNC, Nubian Message, Roundabout, Windhover and Agromeck.
M.A. English North Carolina State University
B.A. Journalism University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill