University of South Carolina

Galardi named Outstanding Woman of the Year

By Megan Sexton,, 803-777-5400

Christina Galardi, a Lexington, S.C., senior who has led the Carolina Service Council effort to give back to the community while maintaining a 4.0 GPA, was named the University of South Carolina’s Outstanding Woman of the Year for 2012.

University officials honored Galardi and four finalists during a ceremony Tuesday (March 27). The award is given annually to an undergraduate who demonstrates exemplary academic achievement, service and leadership.

“I’m very humbled and honored to be selected from among this group,” Galardi said.

As president of the Carolina Service Council, Galardi has been instrumental in leading service activities including directing the volunteers for the Martin Luther King Days of Service. Last month, she organized a Beautiful Lengths ceremony in which 43 USC students, faculty and staff members cut their hair and donated it to an organization that provides free wigs for cancer patients. She called the hair-cutting celebration one of her proudest accomplishments at USC.

“We put together an event where we could celebrate these women for who they are under their hair,” she said, adding that she hopes the Beautiful Lengths ceremony will become an annual event.

In the classroom, Galardi is a Carolina Scholar who has been on the President’s List each semester at USC. She is a public relations major and is a member of the South Carolina Honors College. She is a National Merit Scholar, Lieber Scholar, Palmetto Fellow and a Robert C. Byrd Scholarship winner.

A finalist for Outstanding Woman of the Year last year, she was selected as the university’s Homecoming queen, representing the Carolina Service Council, an honor she said allowed her to showcase community engagement at Carolina.

“I saw the Carolina Service Council as an opportunity for me to be a leader and develop my personal skills. But I also saw it as a chance to be able to give back to the community,” she said. “The other leaders I was able to interact with are very, very special people.”

She is considering a position with Teach for America after graduation and her plans include pursuing a master’s degree in public health.

This year’s finalists for the Outstanding Woman of the Year were Alexandra “Ali” Bickelmann of Williamsville, N.Y., a senior accounting and international business major; Lauren Davis of Simpsonville, S.C., a senior international business major; Lauren Stitzlein, a junior broadcast journalism major from Olney, Md.; and Amy Woodell of Cary, N.C., a senior retailing major.

The Outstanding Woman of the Year award is sponsored by Women's Student Services and Student Life.

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Posted: 03/27/12 @ 6:00 AM | Updated: 03/27/12 @ 6:53 PM | Permalink