Mary Gross is the General Education Faculty Director and an Associate Professor of History at Marian University.

“I grew up in Wisconsin’s twin cities of Greenbush and Glenbeulah. I like to play games. I do game design as both a hobby and work related. I got my Bachelor’s in urban and public affairs from UW-Green Bay, my Master’s in history from Texas A&M University, and my Ph.D. is from the University of South Carolina. I have a dog, Quincy, two cats, Monty and Kizzy, and a boyfriend, Scott.

While I was working on my dissertation, I was an adjunct professor in pretty much every college and university in the area. I taught 21 classes per year and some of them were at Marian University. After doing that for two years I was hired on full time at Marian University and I was glad! Marian was by far the most welcoming and helpful place I worked. People took the time to get to know my name and to ask how things were going. It made a big difference.

A few professors and I took 29 students to Ireland this summer. We had all of the challenges traveling with 29 people would bring, but we also had these really surprising moments of joy. We would talk about the murals in Belfast and the students could see pictures in our books, but when they were standing in front of the murals, all of the emotion was right there. It was a completely different experience.

While in Ireland, we also found ourselves on a beautiful beach standing in the ocean. One of the students turned to me and said, “I have never been in the ocean before.” So I told her to put her hands in the water and touch it to her lips. She did, and she said, “It’s so salty!” It made me think of the first time I ever saw the ocean and it was cool that I could be there for a moment she will always remember.

My advice to students is to keep going. The only way out is through and so you have to work through all of the problems that come up and the tough classes and personal challenges and obstacles. So keep going. Keep moving.”