40 Under 40 Class of 2008

Kelly Galanis

Age 30: Systems and Research Manager, Westfield State College

All women can be divas.

That’s a motto that Kelly Galanis lives by. Not only is she truly the self-proclaimed “diva of data,” as the systems and research manager for Westfield State College, but she also spends much of her free time helping other women find their diva side.

Galanis says her values for success were instilled in her at Bay Path College, where she spent six years attaining her associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees (the first person in the college’s history to earn three degrees consecutively). “I was able to collaborate with so many professional women there that I felt the need to do the same for other aspiring women,” she told BusinessWest.

As a member of multiple women’s organizations, including the Women in Philanthropy of Western Mass., Dress for Success and its Western Mass. chapter, and Massachusetts Women in Public Higher Education, Galanis continually lends her time to ensuring that all women share her drive to be the best they can be.

She also likes the fact that meeting with a variety of strong and successful women in these organizations lends clarity to tough topics and event planning.

“I’ve always enjoyed getting to know people,” she said. “Dealing with these women makes things go much smoother.”

Galanis has also found ways to incorporate her diva philosophy into her work at Westfield State. While managing the database for the Advancement and College Relations Department, something she helped bring online just a few weeks after she started her job there, Galanis also finds time to coordinate the Girl’s State Conference. This huge gathering brings high-school juniors together from across the state to participate in a mock government convention. “It’s great for the girls,” she said. “They get really excited about government topics.”  

Even with all of this on her plate, she still finds time to help senior citizens learn how to use eBay, Digital Scrapbooking, and Microsoft Office by teaching a class at WSC through its Lifelong Learning Program. “It’s a lot of fun to see them get so excited about learning how to use the different resources,” she noted.

With that, it’s hard not to think that the diva of data is more like a diva of empowerment, which, in the eyes of many, is quite divine.

Laura DeMars