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College Instructor Wins Fulbright Grant

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Dr. Micha Miller, an instructor at Columbia College since 1997, has been awarded a Fulbright Teacher/ Administrator Grant to teach biology in England as announced recently by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Through this international educational exchange program, Miller and Leuan Davies of Matthew Boulton College of Further & Higher Education in Birmingham, England will exchange teaching positions for six weeks next summer.

“Dr. Miller´s selection for the Fulbright Program is a great honor, which does not happen often for community college faculty,” said Dr. Jim Riggs, Columbia College president. “This prestigious recognition is usually awarded to individuals at much larger four-year universities across the country.”

Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State with primary funding through annual appropriations from the United States Congress. Approximately 250 American grantees travel abroad during each academic year as part of the teacher/administrator exchange program.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievements and for demonstrating extraordinary leadership potential in their fields. The program consists of several grant categories and is designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries worldwide.

Miller, 40, is no stranger to international travel — he has traveled extensively during his lifetime. Raised in a career military household, his father was stationed on both East and West Coasts, in Texas and Europe. His mother, who is originally from the Frankfurt area, took the family back to Germany every other year for visits during Miller´s youth. During this period, he skied in the Alps and was fascinated by the impressive mountains.

This early interest developed into a passion for rock climbing, alpinism (alpine mountain climbing) and mountaineering. Today, Miller is a world-class climber. His achievements include Nepal´s Loboche´ and Kwande, India´s Bhagarathi III, Italy´s Dolomites, Peru´s Cordillera Blanca, Bolivia´s Cordillera Real and the French Alps – all peaks between 12,000 to 22,000 feet high. In America, add Mt. Whitney, Mt. Rainier and the Grand Tetons to his growing list of accomplishments.

Although he has traveled abroad during his lifetime, Miller believes that visiting or passing through another country is vastly different than working and living there. Reflecting on his participation in the educational exchange program and prospects for living in England, Miller said, “My family and I are looking forward to experiencing the British culture and I feel very fortunate in having the opportunity to observe another country´s educational system firsthand.”