Alumni Spotlight: Amy Miller ’99

Amy Miller is currently a State NFIP Coordinator in Nashville, Tennessee. She graduated in 1999 with her bachelors in agricultural education.

[ACEL]: Why did you select your major or graduate program?
[Miller]: I’m a little bit country and a little bit rock-n-roll.  My undergraduate degree is in Agricultural Education and my graduate degree is in City and Regional Planning.  My programs were selected because I enjoy working on complex issues, finding solutions and improving the quality of life for citizens.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
I chose to attend The Ohio State University due to the friendly atmosphere that permeates throughout campus, the plethora of quality academic curriculum that will endure throughout one’s college and professional career, and the outstanding football program.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
My degree in Agricultural Education influenced my career path to work with various stakeholders regarding the preservation of agriculture.  My studies enabled me to take a complex issue and simplify into a message regarding the value of agriculture on the community.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was involved in Campus Crusade for Christ, Collegiate 4-H, and City and Regional Planning Student Association.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
I enjoyed my City and Regional Planning classes.  My favorite was Planning Places with People in Mind.  This class focuses on the relationship between the built environment and humans and the importance of environmental design geared towards its inhabitants.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education/career?
Dr. Scott Scheer had the biggest impact on my education and career while a student at The Ohio State University.   He was authentic, approachable, trustworthy and fun.  Whenever I needed to talk to someone, he was always there to listen and offer advice.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
My favorite memory was Ohio State beating the TTUN and rushing the field in 1998 to celebrate the victory.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
My first job was the Farmland Preservation Coordinator at the Wayne County Planning Department.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career and what were your responsibilities in those positions?
My first job was Wayne County Ohio, Farmland Preservation Coordinator working with landowners to permanently preserve farmland throughout the county.  After moving to Nashville, Tennessee, I worked for the Local Planning Assistance Office as a Regional Planner assisting 6 communities with development proposals and enforcing subdivision and zoning regulations.  After this experience, I worked as a Budget Analyst for the State of Tennessee analyzing budgets for various agencies in regards to revenue and expenditure forecasts.  My current job is the State of Tennessee National Flood Insurance Program Coordinator.  I support 400 communities with floodplain regulation interpretation, enforcement issues and statewide training.

During your career, honors or awards have you been presented?
During my career, I coordinated 62 grant applications from Wayne County landowners in 2002, for the Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program which was the most in the state and was a tremendous honor to work with each applicant.  In addition, I worked with Rails to Trails of Wayne County to secure an ODOT grant of $2.1 million to construction a 6.75 mile rails-to-trails project.  Under my leadership, Tennessee became the 2nd in the nation to initiate the Certified Floodplain Surveyor program, certifying surveyors in FEMA Elevation Certificate preparation and Letter of Map Changes.

Outside of your career, are you involved in any organizations or activities in your community?
I am a volunteer at the Tennessee Prison for Women.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
My favorite career highlight was in 2001, attempting a 0.25% sales tax increase to fund a local Purchase of Development Rights Program in Wayne County, Ohio.  The program would allow farmers to voluntarily sell an agricultural easement on their property and have the land remain in agricultural production in perpetuity.  Although the initiative failed, we had a great public awareness campaign and continued interest in preserving local farmland that exists today.

What advice would you give to a current student?
What you do will not get you up in the morning.  Why you do it is what will keep you going.  Emotion is the key.

What did ACEL cultivate in you? How?
The Department of Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership cultivated in me adaptability.  Whether in my career or life, I have to have flexibility in handling change, being able to juggle multiple demands and adapt to new ideas with innovative approaches.

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