Miller finds success off the field

Dominic Renzetti , Assistant Sports Editor

For Hannah Miller, a 4.0 GPA did not come by sitting around watching Netflix all day. It came through hard work and dedication.

Miller, who just finished her third season as a member of the Eastern women’s soccer team, was named to the second team Academic All-Region V, as voted on by the College Sport Information Directors of America. A junior family and consumer sciences major with a concentration in family services, Miller currently has a 4.0 GPA.

“I’m not one of those people that would go watch Netflix and stuff,” she said. “I’d rather spend it studying or reading something for class, I guess.”

For Miller, a native of Fishers, Ind., it doesn’t come as much of a challenge, mainly because she enjoys what she does.

“I think just being in the major that I’m in, I like it, so I think it makes it a lot easier,” she said. “Just being in classes that I like and where you actually want to learn the stuff, so it makes it a lot easier to pass.”

Though still unsure about what she wants to do after graduation, Miller’s experience with children has led her to want to head in that direction. A camp counselor for the past two years and now the vice president of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters at Eastern, Miller said she enjoys working with kids and now with the soccer season wrapping up, she’ll have more time to dedicate.

“Last year I saw it at one of the fairs and I got involved,” she said. “This summer I got matched with a girl here in Charleston.”

Miller said she tries to work as a mentor, role model and friend to her “little sister,” who she has known for a few months now. The two go bowling or play basketball or other activities around Charleston.

Miller said balancing schoolwork as well as being a college athlete takes the right attitude.

“I’m just not lazy,” she said. “I always do my work. I study really hard for tests. I make notecards for everything. Sometimes it helps to try and teach it to somebody else. Just being on good terms with the professor, making sure they know who you are, because I feel like that helps, if you miss class or something, they know you.”

It also doesn’t hurt that she’s on a team with a cumulative GPA of 3.57, the highest of any women’s sports team at Eastern and second highest of all teams.

Miller said the study tables athletes use to keep up with their schoolwork helped tremendously, as well as having teammates to help along the way.

“Sometimes we’ll take classes together to hold each other accountable, that always helps,” she said.

Miller also gets advice from her coach, Jason Cherry.

“He’s told us, ‘make sure you sit in the front of the room, make sure you know your professor, make sure they know you’re an athlete,’ and I think those things help,” she said.

Before the team’s first Ohio Valley Conference match against Southeast Missouri, each player had the opportunity to invite a professor to be honored before the match. Miller selected FCS professor Christina Yousef, who she said she had two classes with.

“I really liked her, she’s so nice,” Miller said. “Her two sons played soccer, so she was really excited.”

Miller said sometimes other people don’t always know what an FCS major is, but she tries to explain that her major is about helping others.

“People think that it’s just cooking because that’s what it was called in high school, but I’ll explain the other things like hospitality, dietetics,” she said. “I think the whole major is just helping people.”

Miller finished the season with three goals and two assists. The Panthers didn’t make the post-season tournament, but Miller said getting an academic honor is still something to be proud of.

“It’s just nice because obviously we didn’t do as well in soccer, but it’s just nice that I’m doing well with my grades and getting recognized with that.”

Dominic Renzetti (@domrenzetti) can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].