Western Connecticut State University announced that Associate Professor of Justice and Law Administration Thomas A. Miller of Bethel has been awarded the 2023 Provost’s Award for Teaching. The award is presented annually to a WCSU faculty member that inspires both students and fellow educators.
“Thomas Miller has demonstrated a strong commitment to student success, both in the classroom and through his mentorship of the Moot Court Team. His enthusiasm is evident in everything he does, from celebrating the successes of his students, to embracing the talent of his colleagues, to providing strong leadership in faculty governance,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Missy Alexander. “As a graduate of WCSU, his return reflects his endorsement of the quality of education he received and his passion to bring that same quality to the students he is serving,” she added.
Miller has been teaching at WCSU since 2014 and “feels humbled” to receive this award. “There are so many great professors at WCSU that are just as deserving of the award, so it’s an incredible compliment to be chosen,” Miller said. “Credit should especially go to my Moot Court Team students – their exceptional performance in competition last year made me look really good,” he joked.
As for why he chose to attend and then work at the university, Miller said, “WCSU is a great place to go to school and to work because it is a student-centered institution. I am grateful for what it gave me as a student. I will continue to do my best as a faculty member to ensure that WCSU remains the best value in higher education for many years to come.”
In his speech to faculty and staff when accepting the Provost’s Award for Teaching, Miller stated that teaching at a university is a privilege that cannot be taken lightly, especially now. “It’s the job of a university professor to teach students something the world hasn’t done a great job of lately, which is to value reason over rage and to recognize that the lungs are not the seat of knowledge. Our job is to teach students to base their opinions on the best available evidence instead of on personal convenience. I like to joke to myself that professors are generals in the war against ignorance.” He continued, “WCSU’s student body is one that is worth fighting for every day. WCSU is open to everyone regardless of social and economic background. No matter who you were in high school or your professional life beforehand, WCSU has a place for you.”
Miller graduated from WCSU in 2009 with a B.S. in Justice and Law Administration degree with a concentration in Legal Studies. He then earned a Juris Doctor from the Regent University School of Law and clerked for the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate. A former solo law practitioner, Miller teaches a wide range of JLA classes at WCSU and advises the WCSU Moot Court Team. Miller said he chose to start his journey at WCSU “because it has the best pre-law-style program for the price” and believes that “it was a wise choice because I received a personalized education from incredible professors who cared deeply about my success – I was incredibly well-prepared to go to law school.”