Mary Murphy, associate professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences (right); Victor Quintanilla, associate professor in the Maurer School of Law and director of the Center for Law, Society, and Culture
“The university will problem solve for you.”
Victor Quintanilla and Mary Murphy felt an instant connection with IU and Bloomington upon their first visit. “Together and apart, IU was just a great fit,” Mary says.
Mary and Victor went on the job market together when Victor, who was clerking at the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, decided to pursue a career in academia. Victor first drew the attention of IU faculty members when he gave a talk at a national conference in San Francisco. Faculty of the law school reached out to him early on when he showed interest in visiting Bloomington. A job talk with the Maurer School of Law followed soon after.
Only a month after Victor’s offer, Mary gave a brown bag presentation at IU that was converted into a job talk with the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. She was offered a position the next day.
“IU was definitely the best school for the both of us,” Victor says. IU was the first university they visited, and the couple was naturally attracted to the top-ranked programs and accomplished faculty in their respective departments.
Though the university catered to the needs of the couple jointly, Mary says that one of the aspects that set IU apart was being dealt with as individuals. “IU really negotiated with us separately,” says Mary. “They understood what resources we each needed and treated us as independent scholars, which was really appreciated and showed a lot of respect.” Mary says. IU moved Mary’s research lab to Bloomington, and she worked with IU architects to renovate the space and customize it to her specific research needs.
The relationships Victor and Mary were able to make early on made the transition to IU and Bloomington a warm and seamless experience. Provost Lauren Robel, then dean of the law school, hosted a dinner to bring together law and psychology faculty. The couple also attended the picnic for all new faculty hosted by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs where they met many of their now close friends. “Those first welcoming activities by the university were very useful for finding people who were in similar situations looking to make friends here in Bloomington,” Mary recalls.
The couple was surprised and impressed by the opportunities for research and partnership with scholars across campus. Mary and Victor meet with fellow law and psychology scholars on a monthly basis. “There is a strong community of both friendship and academic collaboration,” Victor says.
Their move from Chicago to Bloomington was also a welcome change. Short commutes, low cost of living, and the calmness of Bloomington appealed to the couple. They especially enjoy the cultural offerings of campus and town, having attended operas, ballets, and concerts on campus and frequented various restaurants during their first year here. Mary says, “More is offered in Chicago, but we do more here because everything is so accessible.”
Victor and Mary agree that IU values dual career couples and makes sure to meet the needs of both parties. Victor advises, “If you are in a dual career situation, know that there is such an interest in recruiting dual career couples at IU that the university will problem solve and do what is needed so that you can have a fast start together.”