Stephanie Galia is the current Director of Well-Being & Health Promotion at San Diego State University. She is a graduate of San Diego State University’s School of Public Health, having received her Master’s of Public Health in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science in 2011.
Stephanie originally found an interest in public health after being diagnosed with several chronic illnesses which include: psoriatic diseases, psoriasis, generalized anxiety disorder, and OCD. She found support and assistance in several non-profit organizations and was inspired by their commitment to serve the public. Stephanie eventually applied to SDSU’s MPH program because she was passionate about working with individuals in aligning their behaviors and health-related priorities in life and felt that this program would allow her to accomplish this goal.
In her current role, her responsibilities include administrative work, management, and most importantly working with students to support their health and wellness during their time at SDSU. Stephanie appreciates the fact that the department that she oversees is constantly thinking of innovative ways to serve students holistically. She also works strategically with other partners both on and off campus to identify gaps in areas of support in order to implement new initiatives for student wellness. One of the initiatives that she oversees is called “FratMANers & SISSTER”, which are interventions for fraternity and sorority life around sexual violence, bystander internvention and survivor support. Through these programs, students have the opportunity to participate in a one-semester training course and can then participate in outreach and educational activities on campus and within their fraternities and sororities to end rape culture. An additional initiative that Stephanie is also very proud of is the department’s focus in growing the basic needs to support wellness services on campus.
Stephanie has also dealt with her fair share of challenges in her role, especially during the pandemic. Many existing programs and outreach support services were deprioritized to address and educate students on virus transmission and prevention. She also mentions that it was especially difficult to see the mental, emotional, and financial impact of the pandemic on students, but not have the capacity to address those needs in real time. Although still in a pandemic, Stephanie is content with the fact that the department can once again fully implement intervention programs that were modified for the past couple of years, while still being mindful of virus prevention.
With 11 years of experience working in the field of public health, Stephanie credits her many positions throughout the years for refining her public speaking skills, learning how to adapt motivational interviewing to presentations and community interventions, the importance of supervision and leadership skills, and how to be an effective communicator and strategic partner. Part of Stephanie’s motivation has been the people that she serves and her passionate colleagues who also work hard to make a difference in public health.
Stephanie is also the founder of Mama+Hood Together, an organization that works to provide better support for mothers during the postpartum period and throughout their motherhood journeys. She created this organization after seeing a large gap in holistic prenatal education, preparation and care during the postpartum year, and support for mothers in general. The organization has three components, “Community, Support, and Growth”. Through these components, she hopes to allow moms to connect with one another, learn about relevant postpartum topics, and for mothers who have lost a sense of themselves in motherhood, to rediscover their identity.