“Everything happens, you just have to figure out the reason.” – Sean’s Mom
Sean Gallerani was a bit confused when he received his acceptance letter to UNH. He had dreams of attending Syracuse or NYU, but UNH was in a sense “chosen for him” after his mother filled out the application, and he was given an offer he couldn’t turn down. During his first month at UNH he wasn’t sure he had made the right decision, things were not clicking, but Sean said “once I let UNH hit me, I loved it!”
Sean started his career at UNH as a Psychology major, switching to Theater, then trying out some English classes and a few other things before finally settling on Theater with a concentration in Dance. He finished his Theater/Dance major early and added Communication as a second major to round out his education.
With all of the different opportunities available at UNH, Sean was excited to jump right in and find his niche! He loved freshmen camp and decided to become a counselor to aid others in the transition to UNH. The following year he became the first sophomore director ever. He looks back on this as one of his favorite activities at UNH. One of the most important lessons he took away from this is to question everything. “Just because something has always been done doesn’t mean it is right to continue doing it.”
As a freshmen Sean joined the Gents acapella group and Mask and Dagger. He also lived in Lord Hall as part of the “Learning to Learn” Residential Learning Community. He credits this experience with setting the path for the rest of his time at UNH. It taught him how to read, write, communicate, adjust to different teaching styles, and how to study for various exams.
As a sophomore he continued to get involved in more activities on campus. He was cast in various musicals on campus, joined the UNH Dance Company, and became a member of the UNH Aerial Dancers. Sean accepted a job as a Building Manager in the MUB. Through this opportunity he interacted with the myriad of people who work and travel through the MUB. Sean won three different Theater scholarships and he helped found Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.
Looking back on his time at UNH, Sean is thankful for the impact that the theater department has had on his life. He had his first college class ever with Mary Beth Marino and he admits that he had no idea what dancing meant until he took her class. She has been much more than a dance teacher to him, but also a counselor and someone who has been dedicated to developing him as a dancer and a person. He took her class eight more times since that first semester explain he learns something new about himself or about dance every time.
Sean’s sophomore year he took class with Gay Nardone. She saw something in him from the start and gave him the lead in three companies, challenging him every step of the way. Sean says, “the professors in the theater department go above and beyond and really make a connection with their students.” From his relationships with his theater professors, he has learned how to form relationships with professors from other disciplines. When asked what advice he could offer to other students, Sean said, “build relationships with your professors.” He feels like this seemingly small gesture has improved his academic experience, helping him achieve academic success.
Outside of UNH, Sean has been greatly influenced by his mother and grandmother. These strong women inspired him to give 110% to everything he does because they have worked so hard in life. He takes his education seriously and looks at it as a full time job. He loves to learn and does as much as he can to get the most out of his time here at UNH.
Beyond taking advantage of every opportunity that UNH has to offer, Sean has also been a role model for other gay men on campus. Sean came out at a very young age and was blessed with an accepting family and hometown. When he came to UNH he had never experienced feeling uncomfortable or nervous because of his sexual orientation and was surprised by the way others had been treated.
Sean likes to defy stereotypes, seeking out experiences that gay men do not stereotypically do. He does them to pave the way for others, such as playing on his middle and high school football teams or being the founding father and vice-president of a fraternity on campus. He does not define himself by his sexual orientation, but says, “I’m Sean and I just happen to be gay.”
After graduation Sean plans to move to New York City to work in public relations. He has had a hard time deciding whether to follow the dance path or the communication path, but is interested in social media and would love to do PR at a dance studio, a theater, or a college. Once he feels stable he plans to start auditioning for shows. In ten years Sean hopes to still be dancing and wants to be able to call himself an artist.