Spartan Showcase: Emily Miller

Headshot of Emily Miller

Year: PhD candidate
Majors: Social welfare

Emily Miller, a Case Western Reserve University PhD candidate in social welfare, believes many systems in the United States are ineffective at addressing root causes of social issues.

Miller wants to change that—and she’s well on her way. Her work on a report to prevent child abuse was recently endorsed by Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish during a Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services Advisory meeting.

Published in April by the university’s Schubert Center for Child Studies, the report, “Addressing and Preventing Child Abuse in Cuyahoga County: Toward a Coordinated Approach,” called for teams of law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, medical and mental health services, social work, and victim advocacy professionals to collaborate and share information.

“I’m passionate about improving and reenvisioning systems through trauma-informed and healing-centered approaches,” Miller explained. “Instead of blaming or pathologizing individuals, we need to turn a critical eye toward the system itself to prevent exacerbated inequalities and disparities.”

Building off groundwork laid by another student, Rebekah Russell, and with support from the Schubert Center for Child Studies team, Miller crafted a compelling case for a much-needed system-wide approach to child abuse.

“We worked closely with an advisory group who provided us feedback on our findings and offered insight into how the current system of addressing child abuse currently works in Cuyahoga County,” Miller noted.

When the PhD candidate isn’t busy advocating for the county’s most vulnerable, she serves as a student representative on the Mandel School’s PhD Executive Committee and on the board of Women in Science and Humanities Earning Doctorates. As a part of her PhD program, Miller works with the university’s Center on Trauma and Adversity on a number of projects that involve research and consulting.

To learn more about Miller’s research and the Schubert Center’s efforts to protect children in Cuyahoga County, take a look at the report.