St. Bonaventure senior will be honored Tuesday as the recipient of the 'Woman of Promise' award. WBFO's Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley had a chance to speak with the honoree.
“It's been such an incredible journey,” said Chernice Miller of Brooklyn, who has been named a 2016 Woman of Promise. Miller said she never expected to receive the award.
“I thought I was in trouble, at first,’ said Miller. Her teacher emailed asking to see her and Miller responded ‘What did I do?’ She was then was asked how she would like to receive the honor.
The Dr. Mary A. Hamilton Woman award recognizes a female Journalism and Mass Communications student for excelling in and out of the classroom and setting an example for other students, plus demonstrating great promise for future success. The award is named in honor of Dr. Mary Hamilton, ’59, retired associate professor and professor emerita with the Russell Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Miller is a dual major in Journalism/Mass Communications and Theater and is involved in a long list of activities. Miller said has a passion for writing and film. One of her senior projects is her journalism capstone, a film titled "Her Closet."
“I’m focusing, right now…on film. Taking what I learned about stage work and a little bit of what we learned of what we learned in our Acting For Camera classes for theater and applying that to videography,” said Miller.
Miller is a student in the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program. She also works as a writing tutor for new students in that program in which new students will be making a transition from high school to college.
As an African-American, we asked Miller to offer her reflections regarding some of the racial tensions that have occurred on some college campuses in the past year.
“People don’t understand the African-American experience and that’s rightfully so. If someone wants to know something, don’t shun them and shame them for their ignorance, teach them and help them up the ladder to where you want them to be knowledge wise,” explained Miller. “I am more than where I grew up. I am potential. I am creativity, I am intelligence, ingenuity and nothing is going to hold me back.”
Miller also works at St. Bona's Quick Center for the Arts. Miller will be graduating this May and plans to attend graduate school. WBFO asked her to reflect on her time at St. Bona.
“You come in so small, maybe not intimidated, but so excited. I came in very excited for my journey and you just become a part of something so much bigger than yourself, and it feels like home,” responded Miller.