Gina Napoli ’92 has pursued two separate paths since graduating from Trinity—one a career with the Department of the Navy and the other a thriving freelance writing career.
Gina has a M.A. in Public Administration and evaluates new IT capabilities for Department of Defense. Over the years she has also served as a public affairs specialist, business systems analyst, IT specialist, Supervisor, Program Administrator, and Continuous Process Improvement Black Belt.
Her true passion, though, is writing, the pursuit of which was spurred by her pre-calculus teacher, Sister Dorothy Fogarty. “Math using letters instead of numbers always felt odd to me,” said Gina, “so I saw Sister Dorothy three times per week for tutoring. During one of our lunchtime tutoring sessions, she commented about how weight loss didn’t come easily to her, so she had to work harder at it. I wondered then what would happen if I applied myself more toward something that came naturally to me (writing) instead of something so hard and boring to me (calculus). That was my final math tutoring session, and I started writing more instead.”
Now, Gina regularly publishes articles for regional publications including: TheBurg, BusinessWoman, and Keystone Edge, and national publications such as: Reader’s Digest, Country Woman, The Secret Place, Highlights for Children, Pockets, Guardian Angel Kids, Hopscotch, Humpty Dumpty, and Muse. She also has writing featured in two book anthologies: “A Community of Writers” and “Bitter Sweet.” Over 220 of her non-fiction pieces appear in 62 different print and electronic venues. And, her book, Clunk on the Head: How the Holy Spirit Got Our Attention, was published by TouchPoint Faith Press in May 2018, which reached #1 in Amazon’s Christian genre.
Her everyday activities furnish her with ideas—anything that has the intangible “wow” factor is an opportunity to pitch an idea and see it through to publication. On evenings and weekends, ideas come to her while at offbeat locations, when meeting someone new, or when something unusual is happening. Before YouTube became a source of knowledge for many, she frequently wrote “how-to” articles. Because she believes in self-improvement, many of her articles focus on career management, public speaking, leadership development, and mentoring.
Gina’s book idea came to her from the Holy Spirit: “Anytime I’ve had direct interaction with the Holy Spirit, I wrote it down. I didn’t think anyone would ever believe me, so I kept them hidden in a drawer for many years. But when I became brave and started to share those ‘God moments’ with others, they started sharing their own ‘God moments’ with me. That birthed the idea for an anthology with multiple authors who have also had direct interactions with the Holy Spirit.” This piece, for Gina, was the most personal and meaningful.
Freelance writing has given Gina the chance to “talk with hundreds of people I wouldn’t ordinarily have had the nerve to approach. Sometimes during an interview, my subject has said, ‘You really ought to talk to so-and-so.’ That often led to another idea and another person to meet.”
While working her day job and her freelance career keep her busy, she says she’s wanted to learn to speak in Olde English since Mr. McGovern recited Beowulf to her junior English class. She remembers it as “the most rousing thing [she] had ever heard in [her] young life.” At this point, “maybe it’s a goal for retirement,” she says.