self-love

Women in Excellence: Christina Miller

If you talk to anyone in Her Campus-Stout about the People’s Organization of Network Gaming, one of the first things you’ll be told is our chapter’s deep appreciation for their long-running Events Coordinator, Christina Miller. And that’s because Christina is the perfect bridge between our organization and hers. Christina is the real-life Isabelle that brought together the team-up of the century. 

Who is Christina Miller? She’s from Everett Washington and moved to Wisconsin at eight. She was initially going to go to a school in Chicago for college but came to Stout because of a feeling she got coming here on a tour. Which turned out to be a great decision for her as she thrives working in small groups utilizing polytechnic learning. 

Christina fell in love with gaming when she played through Kameo Elements of Power growing up and looked up to the titular character Kameo’s perseverance. Even today Kameo is still her favorite female video game character. She says that it will always be her favorite game and that she’s never stopped being proud of herself for beating it all those years ago. 

When Christina was 13 years old, she started using Twitch because she followed a YouTube gamer onto the new platform. Wanting to use the chat feature on Twitch, she had to create an account, and chose the username “Christy989”, thus giving herself her first gamer tag! 

You can also see her using the gamer tag “Causal Queen”, which dates back to playing with a group of people who called her the “Queen of casual play” as she was figuring out how to play a new game. On the note of gamer tags, Charlie Florence is her favorite because it’s “just the right amount of ridiculous”. 

As a part of the video game community, Christina plays around 20 to 24 hours of games, but that doesn’t include mobile gaming, or random binge sessions over the weekend (such as at LANs). You can see Christina’s participation in gaming in almost every aspect of it. In addition to being PONG’s Events Coordinator, she’s a moderator on Twitch, and an active member of Table Top Gaming. Hopefully, she gets back into streaming games sometime soon!

Serving as PONG’s top tier Events Coordinator has been serious business for Christina over the last few years, as she’s been a PONG executive for most of her college experience. Something that she’s really taken to heart throughout that time is that, ““You can’t do everything perfectly yourself and you have to trust other people”. Delegation can be very tricky, but Christina has learned to do it gracefully, and has begun ushering in the new era of PONG Event Coordination through her protege Dante Castelli. When she was transitioning into the position, she worked very closely with the outgoing Events Coordinator. During that time it just so happened that a renovation caused some issues with floor pockets that they had to quickly figure out how to mitigate. For Christina this experience of working through the chaos was a great safety net, and the semester long transition process was so helpful in learning how to thrive in her new position. Now as a seasoned Events Coordinator, she can confidently say that her favorite tournaments to put together are for Rainbow Six Siege because of the community for it within PONG. And on the flip side, her least favorite has to be either Call of Duty or Halo (sorry Charlie Florence!). 

Christina is the only woman on PONG’s 11 member executive board, but that doesn’t stop her from having a good time. They may have a day dedicated to irritating her, but everyone in the organization truly does respect her. Maybe none so much as the outgoing President Matt Gunderson, who has no shortage of praise for her. The admiration is mutual, as Christina applauds his ideation, and his ability to successfully execute plans in organization projects. It’s no wonder that they are both each other’s favorite PONG executive. 

Being the lone woman on a team of this size is a tall order, and not everyone is up to the task. Christina is able to blend in so seamlessly because she likes a lot of the same things that men like, such as video games, and a few sports. She’s had a lot of experience being one of a few women before; working on projects, in class, or in student organizations. Unfortunately, she’s had some experience with being mansplained to, but she’s grown a pretty tough skin in the last few years. Thankfully she’s never had those experiences within PONG. Some PONG executives will tell you that Christina is always laughing and will sometimes break out into song. Christina also has a defender personality type, which means that she is always willing to help someone out.

Another very exciting thing about Christina is that she has gone to Russia to compete in an AI and machine learning competition. The 28 teams had to try and program an AI program that would identify signs in Russian for an autonomous vehicle in the Russian winter. It was a fun challenge due to the deeper level working behind the code. The chaotic thing about the experience was that she was invited to participate on a Monday and had to respond by Friday! Christina tried to learn Russian before going but she found it very difficult. The event was hosted by a college in Russia and they paid for the majority of the expenses. They also learned about AI and machine learning through lectures and workshops. She celebrated her 21st birthday there by touring museums, a Research and Development workshop, and St. Basil’s Cathedral. Russia was actually her first trip over the Atlantic Ocean!

Christina studies Computer Science but could see herself going into a number of different fields within video game development. Something she had once considered pursuing is video game scoring, and potentially becoming the next Andreas Waldetoft. Christina is such a fan of video game soundtracks that she has nearly 5,000 tracks and appreciates that there’s “something to fit every mood”. Video game scoring is such a niche thing that Christina would be so good at, as she’s a self-proclaimed, “nerd for video game music”. 

Since she’s leaning more towards game design and development, Christina’s main focus on making people smile. She’s not thinking about game companies, or genres, and prides herself about liking a little bit of everything. Christina knows how much joy she gets from gaming and wants to replicate that for other people.

Given all of this inspiration and achievement, it’s probably not surprising just how much of a fan we all are of Christina Miller. Our current President and our incoming President may very well have shrines of her. It’s very much a running joke within Her Campus-Stout that Stephanie has a huge girl crush on Christina, which Christina says is a “great feeling”. It doesn’t matter if you’re into media or video games because at the end of the day, we’re all here for women’s empowerment! And we are just so excited to see what comes next with Christina!