Commencement Spotlight: Laura Miller
Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service
Master of Science in Sustainability, Security and Resilience (MSSR)
Why did you choose OHIO and the MSSR program?
I decided to pursue a new degree in a field focused on environmentalism. OHIO was the first place I looked because I had a great experience at OHIO for my undergraduate degrees in Marketing and International Business ('04). I was thrilled to find the MSSR program because it was the complete package, since it focuses on sustainability, security, and resilience.
What memories stand out from your time in the MSSR program?
It was incredible to collaborate and get to know other like-minded individuals who care about climate change prevention and sustainability. The other students in the program have a diverse range of backgrounds. Many are from different regions across the U.S. but outside our nation's borders as well. It was eye-opening to hear stories directly from individuals who have been on the frontlines of some of the communities most vulnerable to climate change.
Who were your favorite professors or instructors and how did they make an impact on your life?
Geoff Dabelko was my first professor in my initial course of the program. He did a great job of alleviating my imposter syndrome by focusing on my strengths to make me feel I had impactful contributions for the class as well. Natalie Kruse has also been one of my favorite professors. She has been a supporter throughout the entire program, and her classes were very organized and well planned. She provided quick, useful feedback, but also challenged me to think beyond the scope of my observations.
What challenged you and how did you grow during your MSSR program experience?
I had imposter syndrome during my initial courses. This is a master of science, and my undergraduate degrees and entire career have been in marketing and business. I had no scientific experience prior to this course and much of the content was new to me. My knowledge has grown substantially, and I am now confident I can hold a conversation with people who have been studying these fields for years. Their experience and knowledge outweigh mine, of course, and I will continue to learn from those individuals, but I am now comfortable having a seat at the table.
What’s the one thing you would tell someone thinking about pursuing the MSSR program?
Sustainability, resilience, and security planning are becoming necessary components for organizations and companies of all types. The lessons from this program not only prepare you for your career path, but they also enable you to be a better person, citizen, and voter.
What are your next steps or plans for the future?
Initially, I am going to enjoy the summer with my family and stay focused on my current career. I began volunteering at a local non-profit, the Cincinnati Recycling & Reuse Hub, which I found out about from a friend I made in this program. I plan to become more involved in that organization, as well as other local groups focused on improving sustainability in the Cincinnati area.