Meet Cindy Miller

Cindy Miller

Meet Cindy Miller

Q. What is your official title?

My official title is the Assistant Professor of Career and Technical Education (CTE)/Director of the Bachelors of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) Program.

Q. When did you begin working at ENMU?

I began working at ENMU this year in August.

Q. What is the history of your positions at ENMU?

The history of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program began in 2003 with Dr. Thomas Togalia, who began this online program to allow prospective and current CTE instructors and trainers to obtain a Bachelor of Occupational Education degree in CTE. This online program also gave them the opportunity to become a state-certified CTE teacher in our secondary public schools. A few years later, the Master's in Career and Technical Education degree was developed to offer those with a Bachelor of Occupational Education degree the opportunity to teach at the postsecondary level and/or offer some of their high school courses for dual college credit with a postsecondary institution. It also provided an opportunity for those with a Bachelors in Applied Arts & Sciences, with a specialization in CTE, to be able to become a state-certified CTE teacher in our secondary public schools and/or teach at the postsecondary level.

The BAAS program works for many of the degree programs offered at ENMU. This program provides a flexible online course of study leading to a bachelor's degree at ENMU. Twenty areas of study are 100% available online. This particular degree provides the education and credentials needed for career advancement in many in-demand career fields and may serve as a bridge to advanced studies, such as pursuing a master's in CTE mentioned previously.

Stephen and Sarah Railroad Car to Pikes Peak

Q. What does your department do and what are the main duties of your job?

The department I work in provides agriculture, family and consumer sciences, and career and technical education programs that prepare individuals for high demand, high wage, and/or high skill career fields. The main duties of my job are advising, recruitment and teaching courses in the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, Bachelor of Occupational Education, and masters in education degrees with an emphasis in CTE.

Q. What have you enjoyed most about your job, and what have been the biggest challenges?

What I have enjoyed so far about my job is the very professional, friendly and helpful faculty and staff that have answered every question I've asked and helped me to learn everything I need to be aware of in this new position. I truly feel I'm an essential faculty member in the department, the College of Education, and the ENMU family as a whole.

One of the biggest challenges for me is understanding the education system in the state of New Mexico so that I am familiar with how I can effectively contribute my expertise in the CTE field. The other challenge is making sure I am meeting the individuals necessary at the secondary and postsecondary levels in order to showcase the importance of CTE for prospective students across the state.

Q. What were you doing before you came to ENMU, and what other jobs have you held outside of ENMU?

Before I came to ENMU, I was completing my doctorate degree in a CTE field and serving as a graduate research associate and teaching assistant. Other jobs I have had outside of ENMU include being a former business education teacher at the secondary level for 11 years and then serving as a CTE administrator in two school districts for 13 years.

Q. What are your degrees and majors, and what activities did you participate in college (include names of schools)?

Both my bachelor's and master's degrees are in education with a specialization in secondary business education and my doctorate degree is a Ph.D. in Family and Consumer Sciences Education. All of these degrees were earned at Texas Tech University. Activities I participated in while I was in college including mainly honor societies and student organizations related to my educational field. Since I was also employed full-time while I was working on these degrees, this didn't leave a lot of time for me to become very involved in other student and campus activities.

Q. Where were you born, raised, and what was your life like growing up?

I was born in Monterey, California, where my dad was stationed in the Navy at the time. We moved around quite a bit due to his service in the Navy, and then when he decided to end this service, we ended up moving to Lubbock, Texas, where I was raised for the majority of my life. I had a wonderful and supportive family growing up that included three younger brothers. My mom was a stay-at-home mom until I was in high school and then she went to work for an insurance company until she retired. My dad was in the trucking business until he retired and sold that business with his partner. They were both surprised when I decided to go to college because my dad expected me to get married right out of high school and take care of the home like my mom did, but I was not interested in going that direction at all. I was very interested in teaching and knew I had to go to college to pursue this field. I also believed I could have a rewarding career and family at the same time.

Q. Tell us about your own family?

This coming October, my husband Stephen and I will have been married for 25 years. He is everything I prayed for and more as a husband and father to our children. We have two daughters – Sarah and Stephenie (her name is not misspelled). Sarah graduated from Texas Tech in 2013 from the Honors College in Environmental Sciences & Humanities. She is now going to medical school to become a pediatrician. Stephenie is a junior studying data science in the College of Business at Texas Tech and hopes to work in the cybersecurity field at the government level when she graduates in 2018. Our family enjoys the outdoors such as camping, hiking, white water rafting, fishing, etc. and therefore, we have visited quite a few national parks across the country taking in their amazing beauty and outdoor excursion opportunities.

Q. What are your hobbies?

My hobbies are traveling, playing softball, cross-stitching and reading.

Q. What is your ultimate career goal?

My ultimate career goal is to become a full professor and create a career and technical education program that is one of the best in the state and nation at ENMU.

Q. What gives your life meaning? Besides career goals, what else do you hope to accomplish?

God gives my life meaning. I believe everything I am and desire to become is because of Him. As far as what I hope to accomplish besides reaching my career goals is to help our daughters achieve their career goals so their lives will be as meaningful and rewarding as mine has been. I also hope to spend more alone time with my husband because we both happen to be workaholics due to how much we enjoy what we do in our career fields.

Q. What is your general impression of Portales, and ENMU?

My general impression of Portales is a community that has been very welcoming and friendly, especially in some of the activities I have participated in. I have also been pleasantly surprised by all of the service opportunities available in a community this size. There is certainly no shortage of opportunities to take advantage of and make an impactful difference.

Q. Other thoughts?

In regards to ENMU, I love that "student success" is of utmost importance at this university because this is not the case in most universities I have visited across this nation. I believe when we help students develop and apply the knowledge and skills needed to achieve success in a particular career field, then we have made a major contribution to the success of our workforce and our economy.