There are many staff members on campus that students do not realize play a large role in keeping NW running smoothly— for instance, those in the maintenance and the security departments or the staff who arrive at 3 a.m. to various buildings each morning to clean. As the director of environmental health, Chad Miller is one of these key players who are vital to NW.
Miller handles campus safety training on various subjects and coordinates the fire drills each semester. Miller works with organizations like Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and individuals such as the Iowa State Fire Marshall.
Miller started at NW 10 years ago after several years of working in the corporate world. This change occurred due to his love of higher education, which is why, when asked his favorite part of the job he replied, “Easy; working with students.” He loves the atmosphere of universities and the liveliness of college students.
While here, Miller has helped the campus stay a Groundwater Guardian Green site as recognized by the Groundwater Foundation. To be named a Green Site by the Groundwater Foundation, an organization’s responsible use of chemicals, pollution prevention and water quality are taken into account. NW’s campus has been given this title 10 years in a row.
Miller is also the Biology/Chemistry Department Lab Coordinator. In this position, he sets up lab equipment, answers students’ questions, assists with instruction and orders supplies.
Sophomore Abby Petrick said, “He is always so personable and willing to talk with students he doesn’t know.”
Students like Patrick are able to interact with him most often in the new Jack and Mary DeWitt Family Science Center but are also able to catch him at various places around campus when he is acting as the director of environmental health.
More so, Miller would love to stop and chat with any student about his hobbies or his family. He enjoys riding horses and helping around the family farm where he lives with his wife, Erin, and their three children, Shannon, Samuel and Connor. This farm lifestyle reflects his life philosophy of “keep things simple and to the point.” He has plenty of funny stories to tell about “foolish and dangerous things” that have happened because of students on campus these last 10 years. However, he encourages students not to get ideas from any of the stories he may recount because he would rather not see someone get hurt.
Although reckless student decisions were the fuel that led to the stories he loves to tell, they have also created the biggest obstacle to Miller’s job. He is “constantly reminding people to not take safety for granted and to be aware of what they are doing and their surroundings.” Students should keep in mind that their behavior affects not only themselves, but campus staff members around them.
Miller would like to leave this advice for the student body: “Maintain your Christian beliefs after graduation. The real world needs individuals with morals who are willing to be honest and upfront.”