Dr. Gallagher is a scholar of German and the Humanities with extensive international teaching experience as well as a strong background in cultural events organization. She received her Ph.D. in German from the University of California, Irvine. Her dissertation was on the life of the Austro-Hungarian writer Marie Herzfeld (1855-1940), based in part on research she carried out in Vienna, Austria, as a Fulbright scholar. Dr. Gallagher then received a second Fulbright grant to teach in the Austrian school system, and later worked at the United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
In 2014, she was selected by the Fulbright Commission in Berlin and the German Academic Exchange Service in Bonn to participate in a summer seminar at the InterDaf/Herder Institute at the University of Leipzig. The seminar included lectures, classroom visitation, cultural excursions to Berlin and other regions of Germany, meeting with University of Leipzig presidents (past and present), high school and university students, teachers and administrators, and German diplomats. These contacts elucidated new teaching methodologies, insight into the German education system, and German history since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and reunification in 1990. Most important, her most recent experience there gave Dr. Gallagher a view of contemporary Germany that she can impart to her German students. Since 2012 she has also co-led a group of students to Munich, Germany, for three weeks each January. She finds this annual trip particularly rewarding because it allows her students to experience the German language and culture first hand.
Her current academic research interests include 19th- and 20th- century German literature and post World War II/Cold War-era film and culture. Her teaching experience includes beginning and intermediate German language classes, Business German, Business Communication, English as a Second Language, and Freshman Foundations courses on European literature, history, philosophy, and film. She has also conducted independent studies in areas as diverse as the life and work of the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler and the author Hermann Hesse. A poster project on German fairy tales that her independent study students created in the spring of 2014 was featured in the Orange County Register.Dr. Gallagher organized Chapman's component of the nationwide "Freedom Without Walls" campaign commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 2009 with the support of the German Embassy and German Consulate General in Los Angeles. In 2010 she organized the "Berlin 1948: The Candy Bomber, the Baseball Sergeant and the Airlift that Saved a City" with Colonel Gail S. Halvorsen and Sergeant Major Earl E. Albers sponsored by the German Consulate General in Los Angeles. At the time, these events received national and international media attention, including coverage in the, Washington Post, Berliner Morgenpost, and Orange County Register. These programs at Chapman were also cited in the Berliner Tagesspiegel in September 2013 and April 2014, respectively, to commemorate the life of Earl E. Albers, subsequent to his passing in July 2013. In the spring of 2013, Dr. Gallagher played a significant role in the successful nomination of Gail S. Halvorsen for an honorary doctorate at Chapman.