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10 Questions for our alumni
Emily Miller, BA, Art Education and Minor in Art History, 2014
1. Why did you choose to attend Grand Valley?
I came to Grand Valley for many reasons. I looked at the art education program and it seemed like a great opportunity to be a part of. I came from a small school so a university with smaller class sizes was definitely a factor as well. GVSU is also known as a liberal arts university, meaning I am able to study other areas of interest as well and not just focus on my degree area.
2. How or why did you choose your major or main emphasis area?
Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher. In high school, it became definite after perfecting my craft, that I wanted to become an art teacher and help others succeed as well. My high school art teacher, Anne Kotchman, was a great inspiration for me.
3. What advice do you have for future students thinking about colleges?
Take a look where you will be comfortable and feel that you can thrive. Do not make a choice because your friends do, make the choice that is best for you and your future. GVSU is an amazing place to be and it continues to grow and become one of the best in the country.
4. What advice do you have for current students thinking about careers?
Try to find something that you are passionate about and follow that path.
5. What did you do after graduating?
After graduating, I got a job in the Rockford Public Schools District as an elementary art teacher part time. As a part time teacher, I also took graduate courses to receive my endorsement to teach elementary education K-6.
6. What are you doing now?
Since then, I have continued to teach in Rockford to about 700 students per week. I teach art and physical education to students with learning disabilities at Rising Star Camp in Jension, MI through GVSU. I have become very involved in volunteering and becoming part of the GVSU Alumni Association. I am the co-president of the GVSU College of Education Alumni Association and am also a member of the GVSU Alumni Board.
7. How have you used the skills you developed in your field of study in your life and/or career after GVSU?
The skills at GVSU helped me prepare for real world experiences including how to continue to mold the minds of young artists to help them grow.
8. What is the best advice you got from an instructor at Grand Valley?
Never take no for an answer if your heart says yes.
9. What is your favorite memory of being a student at Grand Valley?
There are so many memories at GVSU. I would say our Calder Turkey Dinners were pretty amazing. The Calder family is one of the best around.
10. Anything else you would like to share with our Visual and Media Arts Community?
Coffee is amazing, but you will always do better if you get sleep. I never pulled an all-nighter.
Image credit: Emily Miller. You can connect with Emily on LinkedIn.