SUNY Canton’s College Council has presented Director of Counseling Melinda Miller with the 2011 Excellence in College Service Award, recognizing her dedication to the College’s students and the campus community.
“In times of personal need and crisis, our students know they can rely on and trust Melinda,” SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy said. “Day in and day out, she takes an active interest in all of our students, both those who live on-campus and our commuter students as well. She is the type of person every college and university dreams of having in their counseling office.”
Miller came to the College in October 1996 as the coordinator for substance abuse and prevention and was named a senior counselor in August 1998. She was promoted to interim director in August 2006 before permanently becoming director the following March.
In addition to providing students with personal counseling around the clock, her office works to promote a safe and positive atmosphere on campus. They handle crisis intervention, present educational programs, workshops and activities that contribute to overall student development, and offer training for staff members and students serving as resident assistants.
“Her willingness to go above and beyond what her job expectations define has allowed her to make effective changes in the Counseling Center to meet the needs of SUNY Canton’s every changing population,” said Michael Herzog, a counselor at the College. “Besides effectively completing the responsibilities associated with her leadership position she also makes the time to be involved in just about every other aspect of campus life.”
Miller serves as the advisor for the Peer Educators and the Commuter Club on campus. She also teaches two sections of Alcohol and Drugs in Society. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and the American College Counseling Association.
Her helpful demeanor can be felt throughout the local community. “Melinda has worked with many local agencies, trying to improve student access to mental health care which is so limited to the North Country,” said Patricia A. Todd, director of health services at the College’s Davis Health Center. “She is always ready to serve students, even in the middle of the night when there is a crisis. Her personal contact with students is the most outstanding quality of her professional character.”
Faculty and staff across campus have noted Miller’s enthusiasm when working with students. “She is one of those few professionals whom I could always look to for support and to count on for assistance,” said Michael J. Perry, executive director of SUNY Canton’s College Association. “Melinda is a student advocate and will do whatever necessary to support the needs and success of the students of our college.”
Prior to SUNY Canton, Miller worked as a parent enrichment coordinator and counselor at the St. Lawrence/Lewis Counties BOCES branch. She was also a mental health rehabilitation counselor for the Seaway House in Ogdensburg.
Miller received her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Potsdam in 1991 and her Master’s of Education in Counseling and Human Development from St. Lawrence University in 1993. In 2005, she completed her Certificate of Advanced Studies in Counseling and Development from St. Lawrence.
She resides in Ogdensburg with her husband, Eric, and children, Jordan and Madison.
The Excellence in College Service Award is awarded annually to a member of the non-teaching professional staff who demonstrates effectiveness in performance and university service, professional ability and mastery in their specialization. She was recognized at the College’s Recognition Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26.