New Faces at IPS Staff: Diamond Gant and Kevin Pease
This 2018-2019 academic year, IPS welcomes two new staff members: Diamond Gant and Kevin Pease.
Kevin Pease joined this summer as the Director of Chicago Catholic Scripture School, a program under the Continuing Education umbrella of IPS. The IPS Chicago Catholic Scripture School fosters a transformational encounter with Jesus Christ through instruction and formation in Sacred Scripture within a Roman Catholic framework.
Kevin is very excited to be back in Chicago (and especially at Loyola!) after seven years away in the California bay area. After graduating from LUC in 2011 with a B.S. in Secondary Education, Kevin pursued a Master’s in Theological Studies at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in order to teach theology at the high school level. In 2013, Kevin was hired in the Religious Studies Department of Mercy High School in San Francisco, an all-girls Catholic school, where he taught the Bible for five years. Kevin looks forward to accompanying adult life-long learners on their own faith journeys with God.
Diamond Gant joined early this month as the new Administrative Assistant for IPS. We managed to spend some time with recent Loyola alumna, Diamond:
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? (Grew up where, family, etc.) Hey, what’s up!? My name is Diamond Gant. I was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago to two loving parents, Doretha and Bobby Gant. I have an older brother named Jamal and we are about 15 years apart. After 4 long and triumphant years, I was blessed to receive my Bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism from Loyola University. On Saturday’s I am a videographer for the “Live from the Heartland Radio Show”. I also own my own YouTube channel where I do reaction videos, vlogs, dancing and more! Speaking of dancing; dance is my passion and this has always been so since I was 4 years old. I’ve done a variation of dance from tap to ballet, modern, jazz, African and Hip-Hop. My favorite style of dance is hip-hop because of its significance to my culture in addition to the fact that I feel like it provides me with more freedom to express myself through different textures and grooves. I am also currently apart of two Chicago based dance groups: CreateInMotion & MINT!
What is your current role at IPS? I am the Administrative Assistant for IPS and I AM ABSOLUTELY LOVING THIS POSITION! Everyone within the office is so supportive and encouraging.
What were you involved in prior to working at IPS? Prior to working with IPS I was a camp counselor for the summer of 2018. Although kids can be a handful at times, I truly enjoy working with them because of how animated and imaginative they are.
How did you discern IPS to be a next step?I believe that I was able to discern that IPS would be my next step because for one thing, even though I graduated, I am still A RAMBLER AT HEART! I love being surrounded by the support of the Loyola Community. IPS specifically stood out to me because of how kind and helpful the people are within this office. As someone who identifies as Christian, I feel like I was honestly led here because of how much I’d get to experience and share Christ’s love with others in the office.
Are you currently involved in other formal pursuits, other than IPS?I have aspirations of returning for Graduate school with the next year or two in order to obtain my master’s in education.
What are some of your favorite Chicago-related pursuits?Because I live just three train stops away, I enjoy spending a lot of my time exploring Chinatown. The area is full of so much culture and rich history. I enjoy visiting Chinatown square the most because of the abundance of places to eat and shop within the area. I would say that my three favorite places to eat there would be Joy Yee, Triple Crown and BonChon (which is where they actually serve Korean food). There is are so many things to learn about Chinese culture/history just by spending a few hours in this area alone.
Finally, can you share a personal spiritual practice that continues to restore and re-energize your mind, body, heart and spirit?As I mentioned before, I usually dance as a way of restoring and re-energizing my mind, body, heart and spirit. I also pray as a way of keeping myself grounded and constantly in communication with Christ.
Please make sure to welcome Diamond and Kevin when you next stop by the IPS office!