Dan Miller is a senior psychology major on campus whose dynamic roles serve not only his leadership and scholarly success, but also his personal growth as an intelligent and thoughtful individual. His involvement is reflective of his interests and talents as an enthusiastic member of the Franklin and Marshall community, and his commitment to the school has led to his success as the President of the Psi Chi Honors Society, a member of the Junto Society, an Orientation Planning Director, a New College House Advisor, and a member of the Alumni Leaders of Tomorrow. Dan is someone who embodies the notion that people should not be defined merely by what they do, but by who they are; while many find great accomplishment within the competitive collegiate atmosphere, Dan goes one step further by upholding strong personal values and choosing roles that cater to his strengths, bringing him to celebrity status here at F&M.
During your work as an Orientation Planning Director for the Class of 2016, you were very involved in the class wide community service project. How did it benefit the orientation program and the students of F&M?
For the school, it was a step in the right direction. There are many students already involved in community service, but giving the first years a unified message of service and integration into the Lancaster community was a great way to introduce them to F&M. Also, having Representative Sturla kick off the event was important as he drove home the idea that they are not just a part of the F&M community, but the Lancaster community as well. Personally, I was so excited to see the class bond and rally around the idea of a collective service project as a way of getting acquainted with the larger community.
How did switching house affiliations and being a house advisor in the New College House impact your college experience?
Having the opportunity to switch from Bonchek to NCH was a pretty amazing experience, since I got to be a part of forging the new identity of a college house. We got to draft the constitution, choose the colors, design the crest, and basically make a lasting mark on the institution. I was honored to be on staff for NCH, and I had wanted to be a house advisor since coming to F&M. After having gone to my resident advisors during my freshman year, I know that mentors in the community can have a huge impact on the integration of first years into campus life; house advisors can help instill the acceptance and confidence that young college students need in order to do new and exciting things! I try to fill that role by encouraging my first years to go out and explore their interests, knowing that they can return to the support of their house advisors and the community of the New College House.
Your leadership within the psychology department is prominent. Can you tell me a little about Psi Chi and what the society has to look forward to this year?
I think it is really great to get students who are excited by their academic knowledge to engage in intellectual development outside of the classroom. Being the president of Psi Chi, the psychology honors society, has been extremely rewarding for that reason. This year we are establishing a new program where psychology majors will be invited to hear guest speakers describe their experiences with graduate school and the work force as a result of degrees in psychology. We mean to build a network of career development skills and knowledge so that F&M students can use what they have learned in their classes effectively within their future professions.