By Kervy Robles, Sports Editor
Senior sociology and anthropology major Kysha Miller was named the Behavioral and Social Science (BASS) 2017 Outstanding Student of the Year.
Before she started college, Miller was recruited to run track for Oklahoma Baptist University. Even though she had clear athletic goals, Miller managed several academic doubts.
“I spent my first year of college lost,” Miller said. “I had this burden on my heart to understand the brokenness of the world. My dad encouraged me to try classes in the human science field so I took anthropology and sociology classes the next semester.”
Soon, Miller discovered her real passions by meeting influential people at OBU.
“Dr. [Timothy] McCullom and [professor Paul] Donnelly encourage my passion for social justice and validated my call to do something to make the world a better place,” Miller said. “They were feeding my brain all of the knowledge it ever craved.”
Miller recognizes OBU as a tremendous factor in her decision to pursue a degree in Sociology and Anthropology.
“Sociology and anthropology are two fields of study that often foster points of tension for believers,” Miller said. “However, being at a Christian university has given me the opportunity to be mentored and taught by people that can show me how to navigate that tension with grace.”
Miller has many abilities that are acknowledged by some professors on Bison Hill.
“Kysha has been a standout sociology major and anthropology minor,” Donnelly said. “She is an excellent student who is passionate about making a positive change in the world and has little patience for those who talk it but do not walk it.”
The BASS award is determined by faculty and staff.
“I must say that Kysha was enthusiastically endorsed by the faculty of BASS,” Donnelly said. “Although the BASS award is a high caliber accomplishment, Miller takes such an honor with humility.”
Miller said she was honored to receive this prestigious award.
“There are so many brilliant individuals graduating alongside me, and for my professors to believe that I stand out among so much compassion, drive and determination is a wonderful honor,” Miller said. “This award truly makes me feel like my hard work was recognized, appreciated and meant something to a group of professors who I look up to.”
According to Miller, OBU professors played a significant role in her academic improvement over the years.
“My professors here have and will always mean the world to me,” she said. “They taught me to use my voice, question things I do not agree with and challenge people who are ignorant in their part of the oppression of others.”
Miller also said her professors challenged her to explore more and learn from everything and one around her.
“They also encouraged my pursuit of more knowledge,” she said. “They truly treated me as though they believe whole heartedly that I am wonderfully and fearfully made.”
Miller thanked a particular professor for being an influential impact in her life during college.
“Professor Donnelly has been the greatest source of all of these things,” Miller said. “He has spent countless hours in his office with me talking about every obstacle I have faced in college, what I should do with my future and everything in between. He has been the greatest teacher and mentor and will remain a huge part of my life after graduation.”
Unlike the beginning of her college career, Miller seems confident and convinced of what her goals are after graduation. She was recently accepted to the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
“I am expecting law school to be one of the most challenging things I have ever done,” Miller said. “I will be pursuing my Juries Doctorate in either Human or Civil Rights law and a master in sociology simultaneously at Oklahoma University.”
Donnelly and the OBU community await a bright future for Miller.
“Governor Miller, Senator Miller, President Miller? Kysha has the gifts, the passion, and the determination to do anything she sets her mind to,” Donnelly said.
“Keep your eye on her, she is going to make the world a better place.”