Alex Miller ’00 has shaped his career in student affairs – a passion he developed during his time at Olivet College. Recently, Alex began a position in the role of vice president for student development at Denison University in Ohio. He is proud to begin the next chapter in his career and continue helping students have a positive college experience.
Alex, a native of Chicago, considered attending another institution before financial aid opportunities drew him to Olivet College. The small campus environment proved to be the perfect fit, allowing Alex to get involved in Greek life and the Gospel Choir, serve as a resident adviser and work for the Campus Activities Board and WOCR radio station.
“As a communications major, I thought radio and TV work was my goal, but I didn’t know about student affairs at that time. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after graduation, but I realized that I was essentially doing student affairs work through my campus positions.” Alex said. “I figured why not give it a shot? I went to Michigan State University and earned a Master of Arts in student affairs administration. Looking back 20 years later, I am proud to say this path led me to make positive contributions to very different institutions.”
Alex has worked in student development positions at Michigan State University, the University of Chicago, DePaul University, Tulane University and Syracuse University throughout his career. He’s had the opportunity to serve colleges during pivotal moments, even working at Tulane University pre- and post-Hurricane Katrina.
Later, Alex decided to return home to complete his doctorate, and he earned a Doctor of Education in adult and higher education administration from Northern Illinois University. His career then took him to Harvard College over the next four years, where he most recently held the positions of associate dean of student engagement and acting associate dean of students for inclusion and belonging. Alex joined the Denison University team this July.
“I’ll work with colleagues across Denison University, including the chief student affairs officer and the president, to steward the student experience,” Alex said. “I’m eager to join the University at this point in time of our world’s history. Denison is a student-centered institution; a place that really values the work of students and the value and skills that allow our students to be successful. I’m excited to build upon all the great things Denison has done to meet the needs of students. We have a strong history of producing graduates who have made an impact, and I’m ambitious to carry forward that mission.”
These opportunities continue to meet Alex’s lifelong goal to directly impact students. He knew this work would be meaningful and fulfilling thanks to his early experiences at OC.
“Olivet College provided students the resources they needed to create the experience we wanted for ourselves and our peers,” he said. “At a high level, I still think that’s the core of what my position is – to create a place for students to engage in a social and intellectual education environment.”
As Alex’s settles into his new professional role, he’s glad to be back in the Midwest and physically closer to Olivet College. He’s excited to make an impression at Denison and to reconnect with the Comet family.
“I’ve stayed in this work for 20 years,” Alex said. “While I may never be the president of a free country, I like to think that my career path has impacted those who might serve in that role, shaping the future leaders of the world.”
Learn more about Olivet College alumni and friends by visiting www.olivetcollege.edu/alumni. Be sure to follow the Office of Alumni Engagement on social media to read more great updates about alumni, like Alex, on Facebook @OCAlums and Twitter/Instagram @OC_Alums.