Carnegie Mellon University
February 23, 2012

Jane Miller receives Outstanding Staff Award

SCS Dean Randy Bryant presented a number of staff awards at the first annual Founders' Day Celebration on February 23. Among the recipients was Jane Miller, associate director of foreign initiatives/program manager in ISR's Software Engineering Professional Programs, who received the Outstanding Staff Award.

David Garlan, Professor and Director of Software Engineering Professional Programs, described her achievements in the following nomination letter:

Jane Miller is the Associate Director of software engineering professional programs in ISR. She is responsible for oversight and coordination of all areas of programs administration, including admissions, student evaluation, international collaborations, licensing, visitor relations, and marketing. In this role she has distinguished herself as the most outstanding and effective staff member whom I have encountered in my 21 years at CMU. Under her guidance the complex set of software engineering masters programs run like a well-oiled machine. This is no small feat, given the fact that there are 6 different degree programs (each with their own special requirements, and 3 of which are joint with other colleges), a distance education program, and 6 active international collaborations (3 of which are dual degree programs). But, her contributions go way beyond remarkable efficiency. Even more important is her enthusiasm, integrity, and commitment to excellence that inspires everyone within her sphere of contact (faculty, students, and staff) to be the best they can be at what they do, and to come together as a very special community.

There are dozens of examples I could use to illustrate how Jane goes beyond the call of duty. In the interest of brevity, here are but a few. Each year she volunteers her time to produce an annual professional-quality DVD as a gift to graduating students that includes photos and remembrances of the past year. This is a true labor of love, taking an incredible amount of time to assemble and produce, and representing for many the essence of what makes CMU and its educational programs special. She organizes and oversees numerous extra-curricular events for students, including picnics, river rafting and skiing outings that help new students (particularly international ones) to bond with each other. She has managed to create a difficult-to-achieve presence in which students view her both as the person they can always come to for help (often in cases of personal emergency), and at the same time the task master who reads them the “riot act” when they are not performing well. With respect to our international programs, she has personally created links that go beyond traditional curricular issues, and extend to the transfer of the “CMU culture” to those programs, through visits, working with international staff and administration, and smoothly integrating visiting faculty into the “MSE fold” when they visit. She has reached out to several corporate donors to create special endowments that fund student scholarships.