You What?

Dr. Melissa Gruys, Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Dean, Richard T. Doermer School of Business Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
Jul 7, 2017
Jeffrey Crane
You What?

Describe yourself in three words. Passionate, energetic, loyal

In what city did you grow up? I grew up on a farm with horses near the small, small town of Edgerton, Minnesota (population 1,000 – still to this day does not have a single stoplight!). Not surprisingly, I am comfortable in the cornfields and rural areas of Indiana.

What book has had the greatest impact on you? It is hard to choose just one, since my appetite for reading has fueled my education and my life. I love reading! One book that has impacted me most is Parker Palmer’s, “The Courage to Teach.”

What is your favorite part of your job? Working to enable people to earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees – then seeing those people graduate!

What do you actually do at your job? As Dean of the Doermer School of Business at IPFW, I oversee the faculty and staff in the School to teach business classes, provide good academic advising and help them earn their degrees. As with most managers, the majority of my time is spent interacting with others, attending and running meetings, making decisions and solving problems. 

What is your greatest accomplishment? My greatest personal accomplishment is having a wonderful family – my husband, Scott, of 25 years, and our two great kids, Hannah and John. My greatest professional accomplishment is being able to contribute to people gaining their academic degrees, which, in turn, contributes to them being successful professionally, and also personally, in life!

Who is your hero? My parents, Herm and Jan Bos, are my heroes, as they instilled in me the value of education and made it possible for me to pursue my education, and, as a result, my career as an educator. The four kids in our family, as first generation college students, have earned nine, soon to be ten, total degrees (three Ph.D.s and a Doctor of Chiropractic). It is through their love and support that we have been able to achieve these educational goals!

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be? My biography would be called “This crazy life!” because of the crazy over-the-top way with which I approach all aspects of my life. I am an incredibly hard worker (thank the Midwestern upbringing for my strong work ethic!) who has an achievement orientation to all things professional and personal. I love to help others and develop relationships with a diverse range of people along life’s way.

What three items would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island (other than food and water)? 1) My husband, Scott, 2) my daughter, Hannah, and 3) my son, John. Can’t live without them. People count as items, right?

What is something nobody knows about you? I had my horse on campus when I was an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota, Morris. 

What profession would you never try? I would not want to be a K-12 teacher. I will take the college students any day!

If you could solve one major problem, what would it be? I would work to increase educational attainment in the United States, and particularly in our region (in line with The Big Goal Initiative). 

Where will you go on your next vacation? Hawaii! To celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Should be a great trip with our kids!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Don’t take life, or yourself, too seriously – always keep a sense of humor and have fun!

What is the best gift you have ever been given? My education is the best gift I have ever been given. I am a passionate higher education administrator, and as a first generation college student, I see the strong role my education (B.A. and Ph.D.) has played in my career and life achievements. I also experience daily the gift of being able to contribute to others having the opportunity to gain education. It is fantastic!

What is your favorite....

Vacation spot? Hawaii! Hands down!

Holiday? Why? Christmas – because of its critical significance to my faith.

Band or music group or singer? Zac Brown Band

Song? Amazing Grace

Drink? Diet Dr. Pepper

Fort Wayne feature? I love the thriving business community in the region. Efforts such as Greater Fort Wayne Inc.’s chamber of commerce and economic development initiatives and the investment in downtown do put Fort Wayne on the “edge of greatness.” I also love all the music and arts entertainment in the area.

Fast food restaurant? Chick-Fil-A

TV show? NCIS

Hobby? Coloring – I was decades ahead of the curve on the adult coloring craze!

Flavor of ice cream? Chocolate

Snack? Popcorn


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