Pam Miller’s office is right in the middle of the athletic department hallway in the middle of it all. She’s there to be a resource for the student-athletes and, in many facets, is the mother of the department.
Miller’s official title, Coordinator of Academics and Student-Athlete Services, is a a mouthful. However, she has no problem simplifying it.
“I told the new student-athletes on the first day of class that in a nutshell, I’m here to help [them] succeed academically, as well as in all areas of their lives and that I can be a great resource person for them,” Miller said.
Miller had to pull up her LinkedIn in order to remember all the tasks she undertakes in a calendar year for the Braves. She plans events, bridges the gap between athletic coaches and academics, serves as the sport administrator for tennis, advises Braves Council – the student-athlete leadership group – and teaches English 101 as well as leadership seminars.
Women’s golf senior Taylor Ledwein describes Miller as simply the greatest.
“If I texted Pam at 3 a.m. and [was] stuck somewhere, she would come get me. I have texted her at 11 p.m. for help. She helped me,” Ledwein said. “That’s just the type of person she is. She has the kindest heart that I’ve ever met. She’s the best human.”
Miller started at Bradley in Student Support Services in 2004 to pursue her passion of helping others. In January 2011, Miller applied and was offered her current position by former athletic director Michael Cross. She was working in the Center for Learning Assistance with students on academic probation. She and Cross agreed to begin her tenure in the department once the semester came to a close.
“There was no one in my office that could meet with the probation students that semester, so I didn’t want to abandon them.” Miller said. “I had already started to meet with the students and had developed relationships with them; I was committed to helping them return to good academic status. I wanted the job, but I was really torn. [Cross] appreciated my commitment to those students.”
Miller has always been committed to students and developing the whole person, not just academics and athletics.
“I love helping others be successful: helping others develop and grow in different areas,” Miller said. “That’s why I love my job, because I care about these students: I count it a privilege to be able to work with them all day long. The great thing in Athletics is I get to know them as freshmen and then I’m working with them the whole time they’re here.”
Miller works directly with baseball, cross country, track, volleyball, golf and tennis. She also supports the basketball programs as well as soccer when neccesary. She makes it known that her position exists to provide assistance.
“I really see my role as more of a coach and mentor: coaching [athletes] in academics, life skills, and career skills,” Miller said. “I want to prepare each of the student-athletes to be successful now and after they graduate. Getting that degree is important, but equipping them with the skills they need for their career is just as important.”
Redshirt-junior baseball player David Fleita says she’s a caring, hard worker. Fleita transferred to Bradley last season and credits Miller for his successful transition.
“Pam’s the biggest piece of it all behind the scenes,” Fleita said. “She’s constantly putting others before herself. When I go in at 8 p.m. for study hall, she’s still there. She’s the only person still working.”
Her work does not go unnoticed and Ledwein feels the loving energy Miller posits everytime she interacts with her.
“My experience at Bradley would not be as good without Pam,” Ledwein said. “I can always go to her with anything in life and she would help me get through it. She’s my mom away from home.”