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BY [Domonique DAVIS]

As a student in the English department of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities (CSSAH), Mitzi Miller knew she was preparing for success, but never imagined the program would help propel her into a career as an internationally recognized writer, producer and editor.

Her story is a testament to the role that CSSAH has played in developing students who have gone on to become distinguished alumni, blazing trails in their respective fields. When she graduated with her English degree in hand, Miller began a fruitful career in print journalism, eventually serving as the editor-in-chief for both EBONY and JET magazines. She recently made the leap to television and film, working alongside fellow Rattler Rob Hardy as the head of development at Rainforest Entertainment. That’s the production company behind the hit BET show “The Quad,” which focuses on a fictional historically Black university. Though the career decision was one that Miller did not make lightly, she knew she was ready to “jump without a safety net” thanks

Defining Distinction

The College of Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities’ Legacy of Fostering Courage and Conviction

to the confidence and relentless hustle her CSSAH instructors and mentors helped instill within her. “What worked to my benefit, and what I had in my pocket, was my time and education at FAMU,” Miller said. “I knew I was prepared mentally, and I am able to think quick on my feet because that was always a requirement to be successful at FAMU.” She continued: “I tell this honestly to everybody, but especially to my fellow Rattlers, that risk is a requirement of success. You will not get to the top, you will not achieve your wildest dreams if you allow yourself to be sidelined by fear.” As an alumna, Miller said she feels compelled to prepare current CSSAH students to follow in her footsteps by sharing knowledge and wisdom, the way her mentors and instructors did for her. “Anyone who has a modicum of success, that is your true calling — to make sure the door that you opened stays open for the person coming behind you because that’s legacy-building,” she said.

Her impact has not gone unnoticed. Miller was among 13 alumni recently honored in the CSSAH Gallery of Distinction for their professional achievements. While addressing a packed house of distinguished guests at the ceremony, Valencia Matthews, the longtime dean of CSSAH, explained the deep connection she feels with CSSAH alumni as well as all FAMU students, past and present. The college is home to a number of the University’s general education courses, including English, literature, geography and history. That affords Matthews, as well as the college’s faculty and staff, the opportunity to interact with a majority of FAMU’s students while they are on the “Hill.” In fact, it’s the largest academic unit on campus. “I get to see all of the students when they come through, so they belong to us no matter what their majors may be,” Matthews said. “Their success matters to us. My goal is to ensure that students have a positive academic experience with relevant curriculum and experiences that meet the4 A&M MAGAZINE // SUMMER 2017 // 27

Profile for FAMU Communications

Summer 2017 A&M Magazine  

Welcome to the summer edition of the award-winning A&M Magazine. This issue highlights alumni, students, faculty, staff, programs and partne...

Summer 2017 A&M Magazine  

Welcome to the summer edition of the award-winning A&M Magazine. This issue highlights alumni, students, faculty, staff, programs and partne...