Today@Sam Article

Dedication To Service, Community, And SHSU Leads To Faculty Excellence Award

Aug. 25, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

Each year, Sam Houston State University honors faculty members whose teaching, scholarly accomplishments, service, and academic engagement stand out among their peers. Lee Miller, professor of sociology and director of the SHSU Center for Community Engagement, is the recipient of the 2021 Excellence in Service Award for her tremendous impact on others through service.


Lee Miller standing in CHSS hallway

Lee Miller, professor of Sociology in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, is a dedicated Sam Houston State University faculty member. Since joining SHSU in 2005, Miller has consistently contributed to making her department, college, and university a dynamic, nationally acclaimed, and inclusive academic home for Bearkat students and faculty. That dedication to serving others is why Miller was named the 2021 Excellence in Service award winner by her peers and colleagues.

“I think Sam Houston State attracts people who are inclined toward service and recognize the importance of it,” Miller said. “To be selected from a group of people who excel at service is an amazing honor. I am surprised and pleased, and it is very rewarding to be recognized by your peers.”

The university motto, “The measure of a Life is its Service,” coincides with Miller’s personal philosophy, and it is evident in her commitment to SHSU and the communities it serves.

“I have a long history with this community and this institution, having grown up here with parents who were connected to the university. I think that history underlies my commitment and desire to make this the best place possible and build on our successes,” Miller said. “I want to make this a campus that attracts wonderful students, faculty, and staff, and I feel happiest when I am contributing in some way. So, when someone asks me if I want to get involved with some sort of committee or project serving the university, I jump at the chance.”

University Motto plaque in Bearkat Plaza

In her time at SHSU, Miller has developed curriculum, supported students and faculty, and increased the visibility and status of SHSU.

Notably, Miller has contributed to SHSU’s designation as a Community Engaged Campus by the Carnegie Foundation, serving as a lead writer in the application process in 2010 and 2020. Miller helped establish the SHSU Center for Community Engagement, where she promotes community partnerships, initiatives, and research that enhance student learning and meet community needs. Additionally, Miller created the interdisciplinary minor in community leadership and directs the internship program associated with it. Miller has also served in a variety of leadership roles on campus, most recently as chair of Faculty Senate.

Other campus initiatives Miller has taken part in over the years include organizing and hosting regional and national conferences on campus, serving on executive boards of national associations, receiving external grant funding to support university initiatives, and many more projects that exemplify her dedication to SHSU.

“Miller’s impact is visible,” said one nominator. “There is truly nobody like her. Few faculty members can claim this type of impact as a result of their service.”

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