New award given at address
In 1978 Tracy Miller saw an ad in the newspaper seeking an assistant to the president for a large public university.
She didn’t know that now, 35 years after she applied and was chosen out of a pool of about 300 applicants to be Jim Fisher’s assistant, she would be recognized for her contribution to the University and that Towson would be such an integral part of her life.
“If you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem and I have internalized that and tried to live my life like that,” she said. “And so I don’t do what I do for the rewards or because it makes me feel good. I really try to live my life to try to make life better for other people. I love to work at Towson because it has given me the opportunities to do it professionally. So I think of this as validation of my choices.”
She was awarded the President’s Award for Distinguished Service to the University at the President’s Fall Address on Sept. 12 and was presented with an engraved bowl and $2,500.
“I was really overwhelmed and I was surprised because frankly it was off my radar that it even existed,” Miller said. “Because it was the first one so I didn’t know that there might be this possibility.”
She was pleased that the University is publicly recognizing contributions of staff and was honored to be the first recipient, she said, describing Towson as a network that everyone fits in and has a place.
“I also see myself as a representative of the staff,” she said. “It was just nice to see recognition of staff because they’re such a large part.”
After Miller’s position as assistant to the president she worked in several other areas at the University, including assistant vice president for student services, director of new student relations, director of enrollment communications, academic advising and now is the manager of the transfer advising program.
Outside of Towson she was the chair of the Towson Women’s Forum, a Towson representative on the University System Staff Council, co-president of the League of Women Voters for Baltimore County and in 2006 she ran for the House of Delegates.
“I’m active in a lot of things but Towson has always been key,” she said.
Towson is even a large part of Miller’s social life. She is part of a faculty-staff dining club, used to play bridge in a faculty-staff bridge group and even sent her son to Towson.
“Most of my friends are people I met while working at Towson,” she said. “So really it is such an important part of my life.”
Miller said she has enjoyed every part of her career at Towson, including the more organizational positions she held in the beginning, but particularly enjoys working more directly with students. Currently she teaches a course in the education program.
“I like thinking of things that can make life better for people,” she said. “It’s nice to feel that I’ve helped somebody and made their life better, clearer.”
Miller said she loves Towson and thinks it’s because of the people who make it up.
“I really think that Towson is such a good school because the people who work there are people who care,” she said. “And you know from my perspective is they’re fun people.”