Valparaiso University is mourning the recent passing of Ana Marcella “Marcie” Sariol. Serving as an Assistant Professor of Management, Sariol had been part of the Valpo family since 2019. In her three years, she made a major impact on campus, faculty and staff, the College of Business and students.
The campus community was informed that Sariol, “passed away from health complications on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022,” in a campus-wide email from President José Padilla. She is remembered as a mother, a mentor and a beacon of light. The Chapel of the Resurrection held a special Celebration of Life service on Nov. 10 to share the significant effects her presence had on campus as a whole.
“She understood that even though she was devoting her life to the academy, research and teaching were not recently exclusive. She also probably knew that she could make a lot more money doing something else, but her principle source of enjoyment was seeing that ‘aha’ moment on her students’ faces and knowing that she put each and every one of them closer to a career and a livelihood, that’s why she did what she did,” Padilla said during the service.
Sariol reached to Valpo’s core through her involvement: chair of the Assurance of Learning Steering Committee, a member of the Campus Planning and Space Allocation Committee, Veterans Advisory Council, Campus Judicial Board and an Honor Council faculty member. Additionally, she served as an advisor to the College of Business’ Beta Gamma Sigma chapter.
“Marcie had, in her own words, unwavering support, faith and passion for what Valparaiso University embodies: beacons of light and hope across our communities and beyond. She is now one of our beacons of light and hope,” said Niclas Ernhardt, Dean of the College of Business during the service.
For the fall 2022 semester, Sariol taught BUS 475: Business Policy and Strategy, one of her favorite subjects. Another class at the top of her list to teach was cross-cultural management. Sariol’s business interests ranged from strategic leadership to workplace incivility.
“As a proud American woman of both Cuban and Mexican ancestry, Marcie was in the forefront of promoting and increasing diversity and inclusiveness across the Valpo community, both inside and outside of the classroom,” Padilla said in his email. “The numerous students Marcie guided to Valpo will remember her dedication to fostering a welcoming atmosphere for people of all backgrounds.”
Sariol’s goals for a better Valpo were implemented steadfastly and reached several prospective and current students alike. She was a mentor, a guiding light and an advocate for all students.
“Marcie was an amazing person I met at the first event that I attended at Valparaiso University as a foreign exchange student. She immediately welcomed me into her arms and made me feel part of the community. Marcie was always there for me and all of the other students,” said Isabell Sefija Duric, a junior international business major. “When she walked into the room you could not ignore her because her energy was so strong. A quality I loved about her is that she always wanted us to think outside the box and challenge our thinking. Personally, I felt a really strong connection to her because I could always talk to her and she cared about me being safe as an exchange student. She will be missed a lot.”
Memorial donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association. Additional donations may also be made toward her son Liam’s education fund at everloved.com/life-of/marcie-sariol.
“Today I invite you all to think about the mark she made on you and remember her because that feeling will always stay with you even though she’s not here. So with that I say, okay my love, I’m sorry to see you go, but thank you Marcie for being such a good person with an abundance of love and generosity and for filling such a big space in our hearts and our lives,” said Michelle Van Solt, Assistant Professor of Marketing and close friend to Sariol, during the service.
Support is available on Valpo’s Counseling Services website: valpo.edu/counseling-services. More resources can be found at us.taoconnect.org.
“Marcie’s legacy will endure through the lives she has touched. As a university community, our thoughts and prayers are with her husband, their child and all of Marcie’s friends and family during this time of mourning,” Padilla said.
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