Degrees: B.S.W. Kent State University, M.S.W. The University of Iowa, Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh
Teaching Areas: Generalist Practice, Health Practice, Health Policy, Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care
Experience: Hospice, Home Care, Nursing Care Facilities, Family Practice Clinics at University of Iowa, Director of Social Work at Southern Maryland Hospital, Family Planning of Portage County (Ohio), Research study for DSM-III, Ohio Youth Authority
Interests: health care policy, health care for individuals and families, best social work practices in end of life and palliative care, hospice, and Oregon's Death with Dignity Act.
Pam Miller, Professor at the School of Social Work, is in the forefront of the School's new focus on internationalization. She has been interested in this area for many years and received a Fullbright Scholar Award to lecture in Latvia in 2001.
Now her work will take on a new dimension when she travels to Poland on a University Scholar Grant sponsored by the Portland Metro Rotary Club and District 5100 of Rotary International.
Dr. Miller says that the opportunity is especially exciting and personally relevant. "An application came across my desk in January of 2007 that outlined a program for higher education faculty sponsored by the Rotary. I knew a little about the Rotary as my brother had been an active member for many years. When I visited their website, I was amazed at the scope of world service and programs that the Rotary sponsored. The values of this organization are very aligned with the mission of social work. According to their website, 'The purpose of Rotary Grants for University Teachers is to build international understanding and development while strengthening higher education in low-income countries. The program blends two of Rotary's most important emphases: volunteer service and education, and helps to build stronger ties between educational institutions around the globe.'
I decided to apply to this program in May of 2007. I began attending meetings of the Portland Metro Rotary Club and surprisingly found that this club had Polish members and a sister club in Poland! Both of my grandparents came from Poland in the early 1900s and entered through Ellis Island. I feel a special connection to Poland and want to give back a little of what my grandparents have given me despite my never having met them. After the application and interview, I found that I would be sponsored by the Metro Club and District 5100 of Rotary International. I am very humbled by this award, personally and professionally, and thank the Rotary for this wonderful opportunity.
I will be affiliated with Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland during the academic year 2008-2009. My colleague there is Dr. Krzysztof Frysztacki in the Institute of Sociology. I will do some teaching, some consulting around palliative care, and be a part of the local Rotary Club service projects. The Metro Club supports an orphanage in eastern Poland and I may be able to work with students at the university in volunteer service with the orphanage. There are many possibilities!"
Many people are joining Dr. Miller in the important process of expanding the School of Social Work's international perspective. This includes bringing in and supporting international students and faculty, enhancing curriculum, and offering language study. A "study abroad" opportunity in Kenya will begin in the spring of 2008.