Beginning around age 12, Michael Aaron Gallagher consistently tested at post-high school levels. Instead of skipping high school and taking college classes, his parents decided to enroll him in the elite college preparatory school Manlius Pebble Hill, where he attended on a full James E. Crosby academic scholarship. In 1997, he completed the Mini Medical School program through the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse College of Medicine. At the age of 17, he graduated from Columbia University’s Earth Systems Field School at the Biosphere 2 Center in Oracle, Arizona, where he worked with scientists to study the loss of biodiversity within the marsh ecosystem. His white paper on the subject was published in Intertext Vol. 10 and received honorable mention for the Louise Wetherbee Phelps writing award at Syracuse University. (Click here to read about his experience inside the Biosphere 2 Center.)
He graduated with honors from Syracuse University, where he received a B.S. in Marketing Management from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Michael also holds a Masters in Business Administration from Columbia College, where his 150 page master’s thesis was a strategic audit of DreamWorks Animation SKG, with management recommendations for the Hollywood movie studio.
With an extensive background in marketing he has launched and built brands throughout his career. At the graduate and undergraduate level he completed numerous marketing courses including, Elements of Marketing, Global Marketing Strategy, New Product Management, Marketing Communications, Marketing Research, Sports Marketing and Management, International Marketing, and Marketing Strategy.
In his career, he has drawn from his diverse educational background as he pursued his interests in a variety of subjects. Some of the business-related courses he completed included, Strategy and Leadership, Managing in a Global Setting, Strategic Human Resource Management, Decision Tools for Management, Modeling for Decision Making, Introduction to Information Systems Managers, Introduction to Supply Chain Management, Business Law, Managerial Accounting, Financial Accounting, Corporation Finance, Economic Ideas and Issues, Macroeconomics, Introductory Microeconomics, World Political Economy, Global Social Problems, Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises, Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management, and Presentational Speaking.
In addition to his marketing courses as a graduate student, he also completed Human Resource Management and Theory, Managerial Accounting, Legal and Ethical Environment, Organizational Theory, Managerial Economics, Decision Science for Business, Managerial Finance, Information Systems for Management, Business Communication Theory and Practice, and Strategic Management.
After completing his M.B.A., Michael has continued his education in a variety of disciplines.
He has also completed numerous independent study programs some of which include, Decision Making and Problem Solving, Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) Fundamentals, Fundamentals of Risk Management, Leadership and Influence, Diversity Awareness, Risk and Mitigation, Conflict Resolution, Time and Task Management, Communication Skills, and Being an Effective Team Member.
He is a certified locksmith, who has successfully completed three professional locksmithing programs from the Foley Belsaw Institute. He has continued his language learning by completing Conversational Spanish 1 & 2.
He has also completed the online courses “A Complete Guide: Art Gallery Management and Exhibition Design” by Tina Ziegler and “What is Contemporary Art?” by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
As a soccer player for 13 years, he represented the United States at both the 1997 World Scholar-Athlete Games and the 1999 Inaugural U.S. Scholar-Athlete Games, hosted by the Institute for International Sport in Kingston, Rhode Island.
His martial arts training included Tae Kwon Do, in which he held the rank of green belt. He also practiced with ninja throwing stars, nunchaku, sai, tonfa and the bokken.
A trophy-winning marksman when he was younger, Michael completed his Handgun Safety Course in 2014.
Throughout his high school and college years, he played tennis, basketball, lacrosse, swimming, weight lifting and practiced yoga.
His poetry was selected for the 2011 Syracuse Poster Project series, on display in art galleries around the city of Syracuse. He was invited to be a special speaker at the 4th Annual Native Circle Festival, where he read his poem celebrating Native American culture. (To read more poems written by Michael, click here.)
In 2013, Michael Aaron Gallagher’s short story “The Crystal of Oz” based on The Wizard of Oz books came in Fourth Place in the writing contest at the Oz-Stravaganza festival, the longest running Wizard of Oz festival in the world, held in Chittenango, New York (birthplace of author L. Frank Baum). In 2018, his short story “When Dorothy Met Alice” received First Place at the 41st Annual Oz-Stravaganza festival, where it was read to the audience by special guest Tom Hutchison, Co-founder of Big Dog Ink Comics and the writer/creator of “The Legend of Oz.” (Click here to read Michael’s story.)
In the summer of 2015, his caption was chosen as a finalist for the San Diego Union-Tribune‘s cartoonist Steve Breen’s Caption Contest. He wrote the winning caption for a cartoon in the Fall 2015 issue of Modern Dog magazine.