Photo of Angela Miller

5 questions with… education abroad advocate, new director Angela Miller

Angela Miller knows firsthand how transformative study abroad experiences can be. Miller’s own educational endeavors in Europe, Africa and India transformed her life and inspired her to help others to have similar experiences.  

She brings  her passion for international education to Case Western Reserve University as the new director of the Office of Education Abroad at the Center for International Affairs. Though Miller only started at the university Jan. 2, she said she’s excited to join this team to build upon the successes of the Center for International Affairs and take education abroad to a new level.

“Overall, our team will be advancing global learning through education abroad—whether it’s through program development, streamlining our processes for  greater efficiency or developing resources, such as scholarships or new programs that meet our students’ needs,” she said.

Diverse perspectives

Improving global learning for all was the focus of Miller’s doctoral research, and diversity in study abroad has continued to be a major theme of her career.

Miller’s emphasis on diversity stems from her personal mission to help students be the best version of themselves, and she strongly believes study abroad is a crucial avenue to achieving that.

In her previous roles at the University of Florida (director of study abroad, liaison for diversity, equity and inclusion) and Northern Arizona University (coordinator for global learning initiative and faculty-led programs), Miller worked to make study abroad more accessible to groups of students facing barriers to the opportunities.

She collaborated with leaders from across those institutions to better meet the varying needs of underrepresented populations, including students of color, students with disabilities, LGBTQ students, Native American students, Hispanic and Latino students.

“From my own personal experience, I know the challenges that underrepresented students face,” Miller said. “Many underrepresented students assume they can’t study abroad because of their perceptions about study abroad. Many perceive it’s not for them, or it’s an add-on, or extra that they can’t afford, and if they’re struggling to stay in college today, then certainly the prospect of studying abroad may seem daunting and overwhelming. I work to help students to imagine the possibilities for their lives through global experiences, and show them how they can achieve it.” 

So Miller worked to connect with students, helping address different needs, whether students were having trouble explaining the value of study abroad to their parents or finding the funding they needed to make it a reality.

Here at Case Western Reserve, Miller hopes to work with campus constituents to build bridges to help students take advantage of the opportunities to study abroad.

“There’s too much at stake when students graduate without an understanding of how the world works, and how to negotiate life in an interconnected world,” Miller said. “Education abroad affords students these types of firsthand experiences that engender deep learning, personal transformations and meaningful connections that not only impact—but often shape—their future.”

Find out about existing education abroad opportunities at Case Western Reserve, but first, see how Miller answered our five questions.

1. What’s your favorite poem or poet?

[From The Ladder of St. Augustine:] “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

2. Do you prefer e-readers or actual books?

Books—I love actual hard-copy books. I want to hug and hold and highlight; I want to interact with my book.

3. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Be grateful, walk humbly, Listen well, love deeply, lead courageously, and add value.

Live the life you’re proud of!

4. If you were to become famous for something, for what do you think it would be?

That I loved well. That’s what I would want to be known for. After all is said and done, the greatest power for good in the world is love.

5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve?

I’m really excited to work with the talented team at the Center for International Affairs, and fascinated by the university’s commitment to improving lives through innovation as indicated by the strategic initiatives—thinking beyond the possible and now, going forward, of thinking big!  I’m excited to join a team of innovators and thought leaders who make this institution so renowned!