Student Profile: Elise Miller (’23)

Jul 20, 2023
Elise Miller, a white, brown-haired woman with glasses and a ponytail sits behind a desk with a laptop on it.

Elise Miller (’23) has always been passionate about her interests. Between her love for reading and writing, along with her determination to make health information more accessible, Miller ended up with a double major in Ethnic and Gender Studies and Liberal Studies. In an interview, she discusses how she came to be on this path, and where she intends to go after graduating this spring.

I chose Ethnic and Gender Studies kind of by accident. I was planning to major in Elementary Education, but I took Women and Gender Studies my first semester of my first year,” she said. “I realized that the material that I was learning related to all of my other classes. I was in a film class, environmental biology, and I was using [that] material. So, I realized how applicable it is. It’s also just amazing to learn the parts of history and our society that are kind of hidden from us, so that has been amazing.” 

Additionally, she also decided to pursue a second major in Liberal Studies, as she’s always been inspired by health and making it more approachable on a public level. 

To Miller, Westfield State was the right choice due to its location, as well as its tight-knit community. “I think it’s the perfect size. I loved being able to have close relationships with my professors, that was really important to me. I think without having such close relationships with my teachers, I wouldn’t have been able to figure so much of what I wanted to do.”

She specifically credits the faculty in supporting her throughout her undergraduate journey, citing their personal attention in her well-being.

“I felt like my professors really took the time to know me outside the classroom,” she said. “They could tell if I was having a bad day. One of my professors always complimented my outfits, which I always appreciated. My professors are very passionate about what they teach, and it’s important to them that they share their passion.”

She’s considering going to law school, although she’s also interested in earning a Master’s degree in Public Health. “I’m very interested in food justice,” she said when asked about her future plans. “My whole capstone project was on food justice. I’m very interested in that.”

Either way, her double major will undoubtedly carry her through to wherever she wants to go. “I wouldn’t have been able to figure so much of what I wanted to do and rediscover my passion for learning,” she said of Westfield State. “When I came to Westfield State, I got to take the classes I was most interested in. I discovered that I love to learn, and I read all the time because I want to learn as much as I can. My undergraduate time is over, so there’s so much to do.”