Campus Spotlight: Amelia Barbagallo

Amelia Mary Barbagallo has a schedule that would appear daunting to even the most diligent overachiever. But despite the various responsibilities that keep her on her toes, the finance major never seems to lose her trademark enthusiasm.

Barbagallo, is from Southington, Conn., and you can hear a pleasantness in her voice that is reminiscent of a small-town upbringing.

After graduating from St. Paul High School second in her class, Barbagallo received a full academic scholarship to St. John’s. With a desire to leave her “very boring” hometown to experience college, she applied to other prestigious schools such as NYU and Columbia; however, they just did not appeal to her.

“New York is the perfect distance from home but still close to home. It’s been eye-opening to live here, Queens especially,” she said. “The big difference is the cultural diversity. It was a welcoming change though. Some of my greatest memories are from living on campus.”

Instead of being overwhelmed by the atmosphere of a big city, Barbagallo embraced the opportunities that were available to her. She pledged Gamma Phi Beta Sorority in her freshman year and has since become an integral part of the organization. She is also the President of the Pan-Hellenic Council, the organization that serves as the governing body of the 10 social sororities.

“I decided that overall I was fascinated with how Greek Life worked,” Barbagallo said of her involvement on the Pan-Hellenic Council. “I started off being involved in recruitment, then I became the vice president of recruiting, and last year I became the president.”

According to Barbagallo, being in a sorority is a very challenging experience.

“You learn who you are and how to assert yourself,” she said.”I really attribute a lot of my growth to my ties with my sorority.”

Through Gamma Phi Beta, Barbagallo has not only grown herself, but she has been able to help others in her sorority get through the college experience.

“It’s been a very rewarding experience for me, I’ve been able to help people reach their potential,” she said.

Becoming involved socially on campus has allowed Barbagallo to develop during her four years here.

“I am a totally different person than I was when first I came to St. John’s,” she said. “As a freshman I was really quiet, I kept to myself, and now I don’t restrain myself from speaking my mind.”

In addition to her sorority sisters, Barbagallo is still very close with her family members.

“My childhood was very family-oriented,” she said. “My mother is my best best friend in the entire world. She’s hard working and an excellent mother.”

Barbagallo also draws strength from her cousin Ally. “Whatever goals she sets for herself, she accomplishes them. Her attitude is very admirable.”

The current O’Connor Hall resident also thoroughly enjoys spending time with her cousins’ children.

“I have a lot of cousins back home who have kids now and I love to play with my babies,” she said.

In addition to her responsibilities to Greek Life, Barbagallo is also the Academic Affairs Chairperson for Student Government.

As for her plans after graduation, Barbagallo will be taking her GMAT exam in approximately two weeks. She hopes to attend graduate school and obtain her MBA.