Meet Dr. Geri Miller, a professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling. Her master’s degree is in counseling and her doctorate is in psychology. One of her areas of research is academic violence/bullying that she has investigated from a mental health perspective rather than a higher education perspective. The mental health perspective is a unique one in examining this area. With a heavy focus on research, Dr. Miller has examined academic violence and bullying by investigating it from a mental health perspective rather than from a higher education perspective. This viewpoint is unique and has allowed Dr. Miller to publish one article and two book chapters.
Another area of research is a longitudinal qualitative research study that has followed the impact of 9/11 disaster mental health counseling in New York on the same nine disaster mental health counselors at 1, 5, and 10 year intervals. This year she will continue the research with a 15 year follow-up study of the same nine counselors. This in particular hits close to home for Dr. Miller because she worked as an American Red Cross disaster mental health worker in response to the 9/11 disaster in New York.
With Dr. Miller’s passion for research, the question of why teach may be asked. “I have a deep love of teaching that has run through me my entire life. It was in my master’s program in counseling that I realized I wanted to teach, conduct research, and work as a counselor which is why I went on for doctoral training.” During her doctoral training, Dr. Miller taught several classes and enjoyed the experience. What adds to her enjoyment for teaching is the dedication to learning that her graduate students have. Growth throughout their program is evident and Dr. Miller can attest to their development, “I see a significant amount of personal and professional growth in my students because of their commitment to be excellent mental health counselors. I have had the opportunity to meet some of the finest human beings, my students, through my teaching and hopefully have been a small part in the good they have and continue to do in the world by helping others heal from their suffering.”
Since approximately 1993, Dr. Miller has worked as a volunteer psychologist/counselor at the Watauga County Health Department. This pro bono work is in addition to her volunteer disaster mental health counseling with the American Red Cross at national, state, and local levels. Dr. Miller’s attitude, demeanor, and work ethic are apparent through the success she has had in the field Dr. Miller is committed to being the best researcher, professor, and counselor she can be.”