This 2019-2020 school year, IPS welcomes Mariana Miller on board as the new Assistant Dean for the school of Contextual Education. Mariana expresses excitement as she begins her journey with the department.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? (Grew up where, family, etc.) – I grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Yes! Where Pope Francis is from! We even had first communion in the same church! I’m the oldest of 4 kids. I got my BA/MA in English culture and Language and my teaching certificate in English as a second language. I worked as a teacher for a few years and I became interested in mission work and in spirituality. This took me to study theology and philosophy, and I explored a vocation to religious life in an order that follows Ignatian spirituality. Although I realized religious life was not my calling , Ignatian spirituality stuck with me, in part, maybe because I’m half Basque… In 1999, I came to the US permanently. I got my MA in Theology at Boston College where I had the fortune to study under great professors and meet great friends including my husband, Richard Miller. After graduation, I worked as co-director of campus ministry at Boston University for the school year of 2001-2002. In August of 2002, my first son was born and I left my job to stay at home with him. We moved to Omaha in 2005 when my husband started teaching in the theology department at Creighton University. At that point we had two boys and our third one was born in Omaha in 2009. We are very busy with family, friends and work! Our oldest son is an incoming junior at Creighton Prep, he wants to play soccer in College and LUC is one of the schools he’s looking at. Our three boys play soccer and they follow Argentine, Mexican and European soccer (mostly British football!)
What were you involved in prior to working at IPS?– I come from Creighton University, where I was the associate director for the Christian spirituality programs and the MA in Ministry. I am very excited to stay within the Jesuit network!
How did you discern IPS to be a next step? – When I learned about the position at IPS, I saw an amazing opportunity for growth and for being part of sharing the Jesuit mission with the Church at large through all of our programs.
What are some of your favorite Chicago-related pursuits? – I love Chicago! Although I am not going to move from Omaha, since my husband is a full professor at Creighton, I love the opportunity to come every other week. My youngest sister lives here and I love spending time with her and her family!
Finally, can you share a personal spiritual practice that continues to restore and re-energize your mind, body, heart and spirit? – As far as a restorative spiritual practice, I love taking long walks with my husband every night while the weather is nice. I practice the Ignatian examen every night being grateful for the presence of God in my life through all the people I get to share my time with, and I try to practice yoga, at least once a week.