Hiram College Professional and Graduate Studies is pleased to introduce our new Director of Academic Operations, Jennifer Miller! Jen is a 13-year veteran of Hiram College so, for many of you, Jen may be a familiar face already!
To ensure she got a proper and thorough introduction, we asked her to answer 10 questions about herself. Learn a little more about Jen below, and make sure you say hello the next time you’re in the office!
1. What is your role at Hiram, and how long have you worked here?
I have worked at Hiram for 13 years. My current role is Director of Academic Operations for PGS, but before that I taught in the traditional program in the education department. I worked with all of the students who want to be middle school teachers, high school language arts, and educational studies majors and minors. For a while I also worked with high school social studies. I am also the Director of Assessment and accreditation liaison officer for the College. I wear a lot of hats!
2. Where did you go to college, and what attracted you to the education field?
My bachelors is from the University of Akron. When I started college I thought I wanted to go into broadcasting, but I was also interested in teaching. I took some courses in each field and decided I liked talking to real people better than a microphone and a wall covered in chicken wire. I am also a passionate reader and education helped me share my love of books with kids.
3. What is your favorite part of working with non-traditional students?
As my career has changed I have thought of it from a standpoint of impact. As a high school teacher I could impact about 120 kids a year in my classroom. As a teacher educator, I can have an impact on my students and all of the students they teach if I prepare them well. With adults, as I get to help them achieve a college education I get to help them enrich their lives, but that impact stretches out to their families, their employers, churches, and communities. I think that’s pretty cool!
4. What is your favorite thing about Hiram College?
The people I work with, both college folks and students. We have such a supportive and positive community. I have never taken on a task or a new role that has not come with anyone I talk to willing to be supportive in any way.
5. What are you most looking forward to in your new role with PGS?
Curriculum is my area of expertise. I am looking forward to strengthening and improving all of our programs to increase the benefits to our students. I am also looking forward to working with faculty to improve teaching and learning through new strategies and use of assessments and data. That wouldn’t sound like fun to most people, but those are the kinds of ideas I like to play with.
6. What are your hobbies/interests (other than making Hiram great)?
I am a reader. Young adult literature is my passion. I also like to cook and bake. I like to work outside in the yard. I like to exercise. I am a runner and I do Pure Barre.
7. What is your favorite kind of candy, and why?
Caramel. I don’t know why, but I will go for caramel over chocolate every time.
8. If you had to live in a either a library or a zoo for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?
Library- duh! Books are my best friends.
9. If you could be on any reality TV show, which would you choose, and why?
I would like to think I am tough enough for Survivor, but I really couldn’t handle the bugs and lack of soap. I prefer to leave reality TV to those who don’t mind being exposed to the world. I’ll just watch.
10. What advice would you give to someone who’s considering finishing their degree, or starting for the first time as an adult?
Don’t ask yourself why, ask why not? Don’t let the answer be anything about time or expenses. Yes it will be tough to fit into your life for a little while. Yes, you will have to figure out how to pay for it. But in the end, how much better will your life be? You will know more, do more, question more, and contribute more than you ever could without it. You will be a role model for your kids, your coworkers, or your friends whether you realize it or not. People will look at you and say, “if she can do it, so can I.” A college education leads to greater earnings potential and employment opportunities which benefits you, your family, and your community. But none of that happens if you don’t take that step to try.